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Kentucky defeats Kansas, 67-59

  • 8:23 p.m., April 2, 2012
  • New Orleans,

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Not this time: KU falls to UK, but not without a fight

Thomas Robinson, left, is consoled by Tyshawn Taylor, left and Kevin Young, background,after KU's loss to Kentucky in the championship game Monday, April 2, 2012.

Thomas Robinson, left, is consoled by Tyshawn Taylor, left and Kevin Young, background,after KU's loss to Kentucky in the championship game Monday, April 2, 2012.

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Elijah Johnson and Tyshawn Taylor post-game interviews

Elijah Johnson and Tyshawn Taylor talk about KU's loss to Kentucky and the KU team they love.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Kentucky coach John Calipari and players

Kentucky coach John Calipari and players Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Doron Lamb, Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones and Darius Miller talk to reporters following the Wildcats' 67-59 victory over Kansas on April 2, 2012, in the national championship game in New Orleans.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self, Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson

Kansas coach Bill Self, guard Tyshawn Taylor and forward Thomas Robinson talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 67-59 loss to Kentucky on April 2, 2012, in the national championship game in New Orleans.

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KU vs. Kentucky

Box score

— Thomas Robinson stood at the free-throw line closest to Kansas University’s basketball bench, bending over at the waist as tears streamed down his cheeks late Monday night in the Superdome.

KU’s big, bruising junior forward needed assistance from teammates Tyshawn Taylor and Kevin Young, who consoled the 6-foot-10 future NBA lottery pick after the Jayhawks’ 67-59 loss to Kentucky in the NCAA title game.

“It hurts. I wanted to win so bad,” Robinson said after scoring 18 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in 36 minutes.

He hurt badly, but also was “proud” of his Jayhawks, who sliced an 18-point first-half deficit (39-21 at 2:49) and 15-point second-half deficit (59-44 with 5:09 left) to five points (62-57) with 1:37 to play.

“Like coach (Bill) Self said, I don’t think we lost this game. I think we just got beat. All season we’ve been coming back from 12-point deficits,” Robinson said, adding, “I’m just glad I got to be part of this team.”

The Jayhawks (32-7), who trailed at half in four games in the 2012 NCAAs, again didn’t go quietly, this time against a powerful Kentucky squad (38-2), the overall No. 1 seed in the tourney.

“That’s us. We’ve been the comeback kids all year,” junior guard Elijah Johnson said after scoring 13 points off 5-of-13 shooting.

He was involved in one of the game’s key plays.

With KU down 65-59, Johnson went up for a three-pointer in the corner, but came down with the ball in the hands and was whistled for a traveling call. He was bothered by UK big man Anthony Davis, who finished with six points off 1-for-10 shooting, with 16 rebounds, five assists, six blocks and three steals.

“Davis impacts the game so much with his length, and he’s so quick,” KU coach Self said. “He made an unbelievable play when he forced the walk. We tried but never could get it to a one-possession game.”

Doron Lamb (game-high 22 points) cashed two free throws at :17 to conclude the scoring. Lamb, by the way, also hit back-to-back threes to boost a 48-38 lead to 54-38 with 10 minutes left.

KU lagged 62-52 with 2:52 left following a three by Marquis Teague (14 points, 5-14 shooting). That’s when Johnson hit a three and Robinson two free throws, slicing the gap to 62-57 at 1:37. It reminded some of KU’s comeback from a nine-point deficit late in the 2008 title victory over Memphis, a team then coached by Kentucky’s John Calipari.

KU’s Taylor had a near steal, however UK kept control of the ball. Davis was fouled and hit one of two free throws, making it 63-57 at 1:11.

Then Taylor had a reverse layup rejected by Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Taylor threw the ball away after grabbing his own rebound at :54.6. Teague was fouled and expanded UK’s lead to 65-57 at :53.

“He made an unbelievable play. I thought I had it. I should have finished on the same side,” Taylor said of his layup try. “I felt I was too far under the rim. He didn’t quit on the play. Him not giving up and using his length, he made an unbelievable play.”

KU’s comeback notwithstanding, the Jayhawks were disappointed they dug an 18-point hole.

“Kentucky controlled everything the first 20 minutes. They had an unbelievable half and had us on our heels,” Self said. “We got the game the way we wanted it. It was a muddy track. We came up short, but I don’t think we lost. They just beat us.”

Noted Taylor: “It sucks we have to be down 14 before we want to start fighting. But the fight never stops with us, man.”

UK, which led by as many as 17 points in a 10-point victory over KU in November in New York, blazed to an 18-point first half lead (39-21) and took a 14-point advantage (41-27) into the break.

Kentucky, which was led by Lamb’s 12 points and Kidd-Gilchrist’s 11 (Teague had nine), hit 16 of 30 shots for 53.3 percent in the half (41.1 for the game to KU’s 35.5). KU, which received eight points from both Robinson and Taylor (Jeff Withey had five with two blocks), hit 11 of 33 for 33.3 percent that half.

UK killed KU on the boards, 25-14, the first half and won the board battle, 43-35 overall. Davis, who didn’t score, grabbed nine rebounds and had four assists and three blocks in 18 minutes.

“We played as individuals the first half,” Johnson lamented. “But we got it together and fought hard the second half. We let Kentucky know if they wanted it they were going to have to take it from us. We made them uncomfortable.”

Yet the Wildcats were the ones clipping the nets afterward.

“Seeing T-Rob like that ... it killed me,” Johnson said of the big man sobbing. “We’ve been working on this since October.”

“It was heartbreaking, just heartbreaking,” noted Withey.

KU’s Robinson and Taylor were named to the all-tournament team with Kentucky’s Kidd-Gilchrist, Lamb and Davis. Davis was named most outstanding player of the Final Four.

Comments

jgkojak 7 years, 11 months ago

I have never been prouder of a KU team. Sure, 1988 was close, and 2008 was incredible - but I think this team has provided us with more feeling for what it means to be a Jayhawk, and more fight, than we could ever ask for. If a team goes down as great because of how they play the game, this team is one of the three greatest in KU history.

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 11 months ago

I'm just going to comment here b/c I have a feeling that this is going to be the most read story of the year when Jesse puts the top 10 together at the end of every december. And I'd like to leave a little message for myself

Ahperse if you are reading this, the working girls that got you through football season and the tourney run were clean. Keep on trucking!

hawks1fan 7 years, 11 months ago

we will be back great season KU a jayhawk always a jayhawk til i die

Hail_To_Thee 7 years, 11 months ago

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

Dirk Medema 7 years, 11 months ago

Withey did finish with the most blocks in the tourney - Yes?

He was leading Davis by 3 or 4 after the semi's, so finishing 4 to 6 gives him the most?

ParisHawk 7 years, 11 months ago

I read that they tied at 31 each. Who would have though in October that Withey would set a new NCAA Tournament record for blocks ???

Outstanding and moving season. All my thanks to the team, and best wishes to the great players and coaches who are leaving.

Sam Brockert 7 years, 11 months ago

I am pretty sure Davis had 23 going into the game and he got 6 more. So he has 29 withey had 27 going into the game and he got 4 more, so 31.

yates33333 7 years, 11 months ago

Chief386. You assume things are done honestly and accurately. They aren't. This is the NCAA.

Jared Grillot 7 years, 11 months ago

According to ESPN.com stat sheets, Davis had 29 for the tournament, Withey had 31. How's that for a Witheyblockparty?

REHawk 7 years, 11 months ago

I expected to see Withey's NCAA blocks record as headlines for one of the LJW articles today. Fantastic accomplishment, esp. considering that he finished 2 blocks ahead of A. Davis (who is certainly one terrific 5 star McD's freshman all-star and a huge difference maker in the championship game).
Jeff, unless you break your own record next season, those 31 blocks just might stand at the top of the books for a decade or two. The Jayhawk Nation takes great pride in your body of work as this season has progressed. Hope to see you back in a Jayhawk uniform next season, absolutely dominating the opposition.

7 years, 11 months ago

FYI - the KC Star had an article about it this morning. Here is the link:

http://www.kansascity.com/2012/04/02/3532103/no-joy-in-block-record-for-withey.html

Being the consummate team player, Withey didn't care much about the record, which may be the reason why LJW didn’t bother mentioning it.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 11 months ago

I would have gladly traded a few of those blocks...esp since UK got the ball back for a few more made dunks and layups.

I thought Withey's improvement since the first time they played would have been the difference in the game... But I was underwhelmed by his performance.

Maybe I am way off, but other than that 3 game breakout after losing to Missouri, all I see is a shot blocker with limited offensive skills.

Orangedog87 7 years, 11 months ago

I Have thought the same ...but we will see

Clarence Glasse 7 years, 11 months ago

A terrific season for our Jayhawks! It was filled with accomplishments far beyond anything that could have been predicted. Team - you guys are great! You supplied us with a wonderful time this year. THANKS for the thrills, fun and success! Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU!

s6u6r6f 7 years, 11 months ago

Thank you, Jayhawks, for a wonderful season. One to remember. Great accomplishments. Satisfaction. Rock chalk.

Joseph Leon 7 years, 11 months ago

I believed this team was going to win until the last second ticked off the clock.

I believed because they made me believe.

Great team.

Choctaw 7 years, 11 months ago

It's over and we can all take a deep breath and reflect on one great ride! We hoped for but never expected a year like this. We were told by the experts to expect a rebuilding year. With no freshmen coming in to replace four starters we would be lucky to compete at the level we were used to. And then we came within a few points of taking it all. What a ride!

So I want to take this opportunity to say thank you. Thank you Thomas Robinson for the courage and character to work that hard in spite of personal tragedy to become the player you are today. Thank you Tyshawn Taylor for the opportunity to watch you grow into a man under the bright light put on you. Thank you Conner Tehan for the guts to walk on to a program when you could have gotten a scholarship somewhere else and played all four years as a starter. Thank you Jordan Juneman for all the hard work at practices without the publicity the starters get. Thank you Elijah, Jeff, Travis and all the players coming back next year for a great effort making all this happen. See you in the fall!

Thank you Danny Manning for loving our university as much as we do and coming back to make it even better. For all the years and memories you have given us, Danny, thank you.

But most of all thank you Bill Self for pulling all of these fine young men together and with passion and heart you turned them into a team that we and they, can be so proud of. As you said in your preface speech, they now have a lifetime of memories and so do we. You bring a level of quality to our beloved university that is beyond price. You have never been the source of scandal or embarrassment that so often clouds this sport and never will and we know that and love you for it.

Put it on the shelf along with all the consecutive years of excellence and toast the players, coaches and the best fans in college basketball. We are so lucky to experience this year after year. Unlike most schools we know that we will be back in full force I the fall. See you guys then.

Rock Chalk Jayhalk proud of my Blue!

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 11 months ago

Choctaw, I thought your post was pure class. A great TEAM. This year's team most certainly was greater than the sum of its parts.

How do you replace Danny Manning? Is it even possible?

I am already looking forward to watching TRob and Tyshawn in the NBA. Conner & Jordan will succeed in whatever coarse they choose to follow in life.

And EJ & Releford are the nuclei for the next great KU basketball team.

RockCaCO3 7 years, 11 months ago

That was one heckuva season guys! This was a special team.

Rock Chalk

7 years, 11 months ago

What a great season! Very proud of our players and coaches. TT, Conner, Jordan, and TRob will be missed next year as well as Danny and Barry, yet we have so much to look forward to. I can't wait for Midnight Madness and another five months of Jayhawk basketball joy :^)

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Ecclesiastes 3:4

A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I could not be more proud of this team. Thank you guys for such an awesome season. Thank you Coach Self for being you! A classy, smart, tough, fierce competitor who represents KU so well.

Thank you Thomas. Almost no one could go through what you have and remain so upbeat and strong. Great things are in store for you.

Tyshawn - Thanks for not giving up on us, the fans, after we gave up on you so many times. You finished the race strong. You helped your team get to the National Championship game, man !! We were wrong. I was wrong. Thank you for proving me wrong.

ALL of the players had an invaluable role in getting us to the game last night. You all reflect your coach - tough, classy, fierce competitors. I wouldn't have traded even one of you for a whole gaggle of McD AA's.

Normally after the last game of the year, I'm ready to move on to the next year. Not so now. I'm ready to reflect on this year and this team and how amazing you guys all are.

Thank You all again. As a long time fan, I can't imagine a season that will ever warm my heart as much as this one.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

Oklahoma_Hawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Well said! I am not sad because they lost. I am just sad to see them go. This team have given us so much joy!

Brak 7 years, 11 months ago

Well said and it truly was a memorable season, but please do not group the Jayhawk nation together when you say we ALL gave up on TT. YOU were the one who didn't trust him with the ball in his hands at the end of a game, YOU were the one who said he wasn't a top 20 PG. Granted there were many out there that doubted him but there were just as many that did not. Thanks for owning up to it though, much respect.

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Brak,

When I said those things, I really believed them. I say what's in my heart and what's on my mind. I don't say something because everyone else is saying it.

I also believe in admitting when I'm wrong. And I was. Also, I believe Tyshawn "saw the light", if you will and became a little more focused and a little more of a leader during the last part of the season.

I did not say ALL the fans gave up on him, although I can see where you took it that way. Thank you (really) for calling me out and thank you for the "much respect" comment.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

RockCaCO3 7 years, 11 months ago

Congrats to the Kentucky players: Well played game, great team!

Congrats to the Kentucky fans: Yeah! Couches are 50% off at Sofa Mart (one burning per customer, please.)

Congrats to Coach Cal: Enjoy your well deserved vacated. Vacation, I meant vacation.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 11 months ago

I was at the game, their fans are idiots.

Mike Barnhart 7 years, 11 months ago

Coach Cal's post game comments, "Glad that's over, now I want to go undefeated, I want to send 7 players to the NBA."

No wonder everyone loves this guy, he's so humble! Just a true mench!

Steve Yeakel 7 years, 11 months ago

Great game and great year, this team played and was coached fantastically. So proud of you guys.

Brad Avery 7 years, 11 months ago

Missed tree throws, layups and rebounds. Shoulda, coulda won.

kellerman411 7 years, 11 months ago

Tyshawn Taylor is one of my favorite Jayhawks of all time. I believe he will be drafted after the season he had. I think we all kind of hurt for these guys but the truth is they all have bright futures. T-Rob and Tyshawn are about to get paid and everyone else has a serious chance to have another special season next year.

Also, thank you to Ben and Jamari for hanging around and helping these Jayhawks become a better team. I can't wait for next year.

Displayhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Was Greg Gumbel calling Bill Self a "loser" after the game. Maybe it wasn't intentional, but he sure could have worded it better!

bradh 7 years, 11 months ago

I got so tired of the talking heads, I muted the tv at half time. I don't care what the talking head said.

Great year fellas. You played your tails off and we are all very proud of your effort. You gave the best team in the country all they wanted while only playing one half of basketball. Love to think how things would have gone if we could have bought some baskets, or were able to play the first half like we did the second half. Still, it was a marvelous run.

Andy Tweedy 7 years, 11 months ago

Thanks, fellas! What a great ride!!! Thanks for the memories, Conner, Tyshawn, Jordan and T-Rob!!! For the rest of you...see you in the fall!

...and now for some football!!!

Nancy Clyde 7 years, 11 months ago

I am going to miss this team. Only one team can win it all but everyone on this team is a winner. So proud of the Jayhawks and the entire team's contribution under the leadership of the best coach in college basketball.

Thanks Thomas, Tyshawn, Conner, and Jordan....best of luck in your futures. Thanks Jeff for making it clear you will stay. Looking forward to seeing the 2012-13 Jayhawks especially EJ, Jeff, and Travis.

I am so not ready for this season to end. Fell in love with this team.

Martin Rosenblum 7 years, 11 months ago

New KU AD

New Big 12 commisioner

Re-alignment of Big 12 with two teams already gone, two more in their final year before leaving and two new teams being accepted into the conference.

No McDonalds All American players on our roster.

Won regular season Big 12 Conference title.

Danny Manning announcing resignation.

Barry Hinson announcing resignation.

KU beats Ohio State, twice. Once without Sullinger, once with in the semi-final of the tourney.

KU beats North Carolina in Elite Eight.

Played Kentucky in title game of NCAA Tournament. Lost by single digits.

Re-loaded with a class of incoming players who will feel pressure to live up to this season's group of "never-say-die", over-achievers who were coached by this era in college basketball's most likeable, respectable, capable, motivational coaches who returns next season with new challenges. He will meet those challenges head-on and continue his trend of getting more out of a team than any other coach could even dream of.

Thanks to all of you fellow posters for making this one of my more memorable seasons participating in discussions here. We don't always agree with each other's comments and philosiphies. But, that is what makes this avenue so special. Some of us have more entertainment qualities, some have more factual input, some have nore technical knowledge to share, some are more controversial in their attitudes, some seem to taunt others, some use humor as their themes and then there are some who seem to be competing in their own little contest of prolific and lengthy posts.

Thanks to Jaybate, Wayward, Oakville, Nuleaf, chuckberry, and a cast of others who make this something to look forward to. 100 would be on the list. However, he has obviously left our fray and is probably posting in another life.

Talk to you guys throughtout the "off-season".

Rock Chalk Jayhawk

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

memhawk - very excellent post. As usual.

I'm a little disappointed that we didn't win last night, but so, so proud of this team. What a bunch of warriors. It's been a fun ride this season.

Thanks to you and all the other posters as well for making things so interesting. I appreciate everyone's input and have learned a lot this year. I'm looking forward to more discussion in the coming months and years.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk

Steve Gantz 7 years, 11 months ago

Ahh, I didn't make your A list? I'm a "cast of others"?
Just kidding of course. A contact through our cast of others brooksmd got me two tickets for the game last night. A memory for me that will last a lifetime!

Martin Rosenblum 7 years, 11 months ago

Lucky! Did you make it back to B.R. last night? Used to live there back in the 70's. Moved from there to Wichita. Talk about culture change! Can't say I miss B.R. Hope you're enjoying it though.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, we made it back. When we move away we probably won't miss it much either. Got to get back north some day! We had a great time at the game, to be honest, I was so excited to be there the loss didn't upset me that much.

Martin Rosenblum 7 years, 11 months ago

Oops, forgot my buddy, Kuwells! You know you're special.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for the complement. Right back atcha!!

Hey man..don't stop now...let's get started on next season. Wait till you all get a look at BenMac's sweet trifecta shot. He and Elijah will be lighting the lamp as hockey players say!!!

Martin Rosenblum 7 years, 11 months ago

We're going to sneak up on everybody with our recruiting class. EJ and Withey will be the "old wise ones" and whoever HCBS brings in to replace DManning should add a spark. It'll be a different feel with WVA and TCU (?) as well as not having to deal with those guys just to the west of you on I-70. Only 7 months till Late Night!

Ben Simonett 7 years, 11 months ago

This team never quit and you have to respect that.

They did however definitely overachieve this season and the championship game just goes to prove that talent wins championships, not heart.

The cold truth is, Self has not been bringing in the talent like he use to and until that changes, the teams we put out on the floor are not going to match up with the UKs and healthy UNCs of the world.

Ludwig Supraphonic 7 years, 11 months ago

I am not disappointed at the level of talent, effort, or coaching at KU.

Sam Brockert 7 years, 11 months ago

OH holy sh!@, are you serious? Are you really already starting with the old, Bill self can't recruit crap. Do you really want him to turn it to Calipari?

Ben Simonett 7 years, 11 months ago

no, i just want him to recruit like he did when he first got here.

Lucas, Peters, and Young are not Arthur, Jackson, and Aldrich

ku_foaf 7 years, 11 months ago

I can only roll my eyes at this, my friend. We just played in the championship game and you are saying we can't match up. It sounds a little silly.

hawksince51 7 years, 11 months ago

I am not going to criticize Self for not loading up with OAD's or for the fact that he lost his whole freshman class to ineligibility. Let's see what happens next year with what we have returning, when 2 of the freshmen will be eligible sophomores, and with the recruits coming in. I like our chances in 2012/13. Rock Chalk.

Mel Clare 7 years, 11 months ago

Yes, and it will be a very BIG team!

Withey at 7'0 Young at 6'8 Wesley at 6'8 Ellis at 6'8 Traylor at 6'7 Lucas at 6'10 Peters at 6'9

White at 6'6 and McClemore at 6'5 Releford at 6'6 TJ at 6'4 as GUARDS

Even Adams if he is brought on board is 6'3 which is Taylors size.......

Oklahoma_Hawk 7 years, 11 months ago

I think they will still have 4 year left next year as I remember....

hawksince51 7 years, 11 months ago

Right--I meant sophomores only from an experience standpoint. But I suppose they will be considered redshirt freshmen.

Ben Simonett 7 years, 11 months ago

I'm not asking for OADs, i'm just asking for the next step up from the likes of Young, Lucas, and Lindsey

texashawk10 7 years, 11 months ago

Perry Ellis, Andrew White, Ben McLemore, Connor Frankemp, Brannen Greene are all 4 star or better and will be freshmen in the next 2 season. Is that good enough for you?

Ben Simonett 7 years, 11 months ago

Self use to pull that in in one class, not spread out over 3 classes.

Its a start, but not good enough

Joe Baker 7 years, 11 months ago

What the hell kind of talent do you want? Bought talent. NO coach brings in six (6) McDs AAs. This is unheard of by any of the great coaches. Also, when you have one of the most legendary and one of the highest winning coaches like Bob Knight say the things he has against Calipari, you might want to reconsider your "talent" theory. Wait or the routine investigation now an let's see how this talent was acquired. Something tells me it's not all old fashioned recruiting.

I'll take guys with heart and that are coachable. I love our guys. Here's your talent next year. EJ - do I need to say more Tharpe - high ceiling BMac- TT and Rel says this guy is NBA talented. Rel - experience and talent Peters - beast and talent Lucas - talent Withey - speaks for himself White - talent Rio - talent Traylor - TRob like and Ellis - your McDs AA.

What do you want from Self? You my friend, no nothing about bball.

Ben Simonett 7 years, 11 months ago

"Lucas - talent"

WOW!, really?

youtube this kid, he has no business being in a KU uniform

HawkKlaw 7 years, 11 months ago

Hey everyone, bennybob is a KSU troll. No need to take his comments seriously.

coolsportsdad 7 years, 11 months ago

I believe your screen name should be changed to "bennyboob". What a nonsensical comment. Especially at this time.

Sam Constance 7 years, 11 months ago

You're not wrong Walter. You're just an a**hole.

JayDoc91 7 years, 11 months ago

I'll take the players Bill Self brings in over the OADs that Calipari buys every year. It blows my mind that Worldwide Wes sits behind the Kentucky bench, and the NCAA allows it. Calipari's best season at every school has been vacated, and as soon as someone finds the money trail from CAA (the agency Wes "consults" for), and the Davis family this one will be gone to. I am proud of the MEN of the 2011-2012 Jayhawk team, and will continue to root for those to follow in their footsteps.

Mike Kendall 7 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for the ride, Jayhawks! Also, thanks to the LJW for great coverage of the Tournament. Thanks to Jesse Newell and his staff, including Matt Tait, for great Cram Sessions. It was a fun and satisfying year.

Hey, I got an idea----LET'S DO THIS AGAIN NEXT YEAR!!!!!!!!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

FoCoCoHawk 7 years, 11 months ago

and I want to thank everybody on here for their valuable postings, especially the video links. Just last week I was thinking how different the world might be if no one had restrained john chaney from going after calipari.

We should all pat ourselves on the back. I'll be lurking here every day for recruiting updates and Jaybate's tortured metaphors.

lincase 7 years, 11 months ago

How can anyone focus on negatives at this time? This was Bill Self's finest coaching job ever. This was a team of men who never quit. What a wonderful ride! Thanks to everyone.

kufan4284 7 years, 11 months ago

i totally agree lincase i would take Bill self over john Calipari any day

tis4tim 7 years, 11 months ago

I'm ever so proud of these guys as we all should be. To overcome as many obstacles as this team did to get to this point is nothing short of astounding.

That said, you can have all the heart and fight and guts you want, but you still have to have points to win and we just couldn't hit shots when we needed them. Much of that can be attributed to Kentucky's length and quickness, but we simply needed a better outside game to neutralize that. While all the "experts" said we needed to be perfect to win, we really just needed to be average. Unfortunately, we were well below average in too many aspects. Still, it was there for the taking.

Anyway, I'm sorry to see this magical season come to an end, but the guys should be damn proud of all they accomplished. I'm going to miss this team, but I will never forget them.

Rock Chalk!

justinryman 7 years, 11 months ago

I just got done watching this game again.

I woke up and couldn't believe whatI saw last night so I watched it again.

3 missed dunks. 9 layups missed/blocked. Free throws that didn't fall.

You know what, even with all of the miscues, this team was right there. Kentucky never delivered the knock out blow.

All the praise to the Kentucky players for holding on and winning the title.

All the praise to the Kansas players for not giving up, for fighting until the very end.

What a team. What a year.

Chuck Stones 7 years, 11 months ago

This TEAM, more than any other will lay the groundwork for how future teams will play. EJ, Jeff and Travis and even BMac and Traylor who made this team better, will carry this effort forward and the total toughness and effort will carry on for years.

Thanks for the effort and the great memories.

Jeffery Barrett 7 years, 11 months ago

This tournament brings me back to 1991. With the wins against Indiana, Arkansas and UNC, that tournament was very similar to this one.

I watched UNLV go undefeated all season and knew the 'Hawks coulkd beat them. I was hoping the entire season that KU would play them in the championship game.

When Duke beat UNLV, I knew they were the only team in the country that could beat KU.

That was a great season, as was this one.

KGphoto 7 years, 11 months ago

Awesome posts, across the board. It's good to be a Jayhawk.

To the players. You represented KU as well as any team ever has. No need to be sad. No need to feel any regret. This entire season was an amazing performance. You will be remembered as the hardest fighting team in KU history, and you will be the example, the standard, for the next generation of Jayhawks.

Congratulations and Thank You.

Jared Grillot 7 years, 11 months ago

Maybe he was just being a friend... you know, like, "If you ever hear me cheering for Kentucky, just shoot me." Or, "If Calimari ever actually wins a title with his NBA clearinghouse tactics, just shoot me." Or even as simple as, "If Kentucky wins this game, just shoot me." So many scenarios here that we could understand. Now, the car crashing into a pub... well, where was he supposed to drive? The road was full of burning couches.

HawkKlaw 7 years, 11 months ago

Congrats on one heck of a year, Jayhawks.

As for the title game, we just didn’t have enough firepower to take down UK. We came out and took a haymaker to the face, but we didn’t return the blow until late in the second half. At that point it was too late.

Give credit where it’s due though: Coach Cal had his best team ever and they were ready for last night. They were the best team all year long and even though I would’ve liked to see it end differently, it is fitting that they won the title (just like in ’08 it was fitting that KU won the title). They hit all the shots they needed to and the ‘Brow completely changed the game down low. He was blocking and rebounding almost everything, and even when he wasn’t our guys just looked afraid to take the ball down low. Unfortunately, Withey didn’t have an answer for Anthony Davis and TRob could only do so much.

I am not disappointed one bit in our team. They fought hard all year and despite what the experts said, they became one of the best teams Bill Self has ever put together at KU. This team will always have a special place in my heart because they are almost as unlikely a Final Four team as our ’88 champs. This season was a major success and it makes me proud be a Jayhawk.

And with Bill Self continuing to coach at Kansas, it’ll only get better from here. I’m convinced that last night will not be his last Championship game, and I like his odds at bringing another title to Lawrence, KS. So keep your heads up folks, and Rock Chalk!

hawkhoops 7 years, 11 months ago

Congratulations on a great season Hawks!!!

When the sting of this game wears off, hopefully they will be able to appreciate what they did, the way the fans do.

I wanted the National Championship so badly, for THEM. They played so hard this year. You could literally see that they found they had more in them. The guys thought they were playing as hard as they could, but when needed, found they really did have another gear.

This season and team should not be forgotten.

Again, great job and thanks for a wonderful season of basketball.

FoCoCoHawk 7 years, 11 months ago

When the sting of this game wears off, they'll realize this is not the final horn. With only the perspective that time provides, these young men will realize what they've accomplished this past season is only prologue to triumphing over new and and unforeseen struggles. In the years to come, I want to be able to read on here of all the great things going on in these players' lives, whether it's a first time coaching job, an NBA ring, marriages, children...whatever. Jayhawk Nation is proud of you now and forever. In the meantime, what a GREAT thing to feel bad about!

Once a Jayhawk, always a Jayhawk!

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

Everybody take a nice ,long look at Kentucky. This is the type of talent needed to win championships. As the game last night demonstrated......we are not close to that. Kentucky was by far the better team. It really was not even close.

Now......that's not to say KU has some great players and we had amazing heart and great effort. No question there. But that only carries a team so far. This year......I am not in the least bit disappointed. Nobody thought we would get to the title game and it really has been a great season.

But I'm just saying.......if you want championships......look at the talent KY has. I don't care if they are one and dones. That's the level necessary.

Ok.....I'm sure I'll get the hateful, "how dare you say that about KU" responses......so lets hear it.

HawkKlaw 7 years, 11 months ago

Not going to get hateful...BUT to be fair

We were a couple minutes away from a championship last night with our guys. We came out scatter-brained and didn't play our style of ball. We finally did late in the second half, but by then it was too late.

So a championship is very possible without the "talent" that Kentucky has. It's possible with the talent that we have. See, pretty much anything is possible in a "win or go home" tourney. Last night the best team in college basketball one the championship. It's great that it worked out that way last night, but that's not the way it always works out.

I get what you're saying, but I don't agree. It is not necessary to have 5 or 6 future NBA stars on your roster. It sure helps, but it is not necessary. As this year's team proved, experience and team chemistry are equally as important.

jaycon11 7 years, 11 months ago

it simply isn't realistic to expect that ku would land the #1 recruit at each open position, which is what it took for calipari to finally win a championship. and it isn't the type of recruiting model most would want to emulate to land a player like terrence jones. plus, i don't think ku had a single one and done on the 2008 championship team.

HawkKlaw 7 years, 11 months ago

You're right! KU had many future NBA players in '08 (Rush, Chalmers, DJack, Arthur, Sherron, Cole), but no one and dones.

Mel Clare 7 years, 11 months ago

Kentucky has the best PAID college team in history........I dont want one and dones.....his recruiting practices are not ethical, he put UMass and Memphis into NCAA hot water and investigations against his teams and left them when it got to hot.......he will do the same at Kentucky and they will be looking for another coach in 3 years..........bank on it! He is a crook and bent or broke the rules to get his Championship..........

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

No. They are not paid and there was nothing illegal. Just b/c he had problems in the past doesnt mean he did anything wrong. The NCAA would have found out......especially with him. i'm sure they looked with a magnafine glass. Stop makling excuses......you know nothing about Calipari. Kansas got beat by a much better team. Period. That's all there is to it.

KGphoto 7 years, 11 months ago

Hilarious.

He's been caught twice already. What do you need to see? You really think one guy can out-recruit the entire country? It smells. It always smells around Calimari, and the investigations will begin now. Believe it.

Alex Peekeaton 7 years, 11 months ago

Regarding being caught twice already...care to elaborate?

HawkKlaw 7 years, 11 months ago

In my heart, I feel that you might be right. He always manages to get a few of the very highest rated recruits to go to whatever school he's at. In my rational mind, though, I cannot in good conscience accuse someone of something I have no evidence of. You can't say they're the best paid team in college basketball history without backing that up with some sort of hard evidence.

Phoghorn 7 years, 11 months ago

Innocent until proven guilty, my friend.

KGphoto 7 years, 11 months ago

Proven guilty twice, and he's on the clock now for number 3. The only thing Calipari has going for him is the kind of crooked booster money the SEC provides to cover up these indiscretions. See, Auburn/Cam Newton.

Phoghorn 7 years, 11 months ago

My comment was in reference to this year at Kentucky, not to Coach Calipari's entire career.

kellerman411 7 years, 11 months ago

Oh, so you googled Calipari and found out that he actually has been caught red handed and formally punished twice and decided to come back and change your position. Cool.

Phoghorn 7 years, 11 months ago

No Mr. Troll, I was S P E C I F I C A L L Y refering to Sniper 60's claim that players at Kentucky in 2012 are getting paid.

I am well aware of the controversy surrounding Coach Calipari from previous years. I am assuming that everything is clean at Kentucky in 2012 unless someone can produce evidence otherwise.

Geekinout 7 years, 11 months ago

I'm not going to call him guilty yet, but I find it interesting/amusing when Bob Knight bashes the guy openly on air for his scandalous ways and still being allowed to coach NCAA basketball. Just shows how flawed college sports get...

Sam Constance 7 years, 11 months ago

Yes, because Butler and UConn last year were both just as talented as this year's Kentucky team.

/sarcasm

REHawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Here's the thing about Kentucky's current system. Calipari has established a trend with the flow of one and doners uniting to buy into a situation designed to assimilate their immediate desire for highlights and quick departure. The NBA one and done rule plays into that set of parameters. In light of all the AAU games and innerconnections of top high school athletes, combined with the brokerage finesse of "amateur" outsiders like World Wide Wes, there will be no end to Kentucky's good fortune, so long as Cal is at the helm. The trend is now well established; the flow will continue to load Wildcat singlets with a plethora of the most highly sought after hoopsters in the land. Even then, our much less highly ranked Jayhawk recruits who have stayed the course, bonded with Kansas fans and bought into the Bill Self system, outscored Cal's five McD's All Americans in the second half last night. And did the same vs. Roy's handful of McD's kids last weekend. It is a magnificent tribute to the caliber of our players, combined with the wise and industrious talents of our coaching/training staff, that this team has come so far. No 5 star players, no McD All Americans, only one or two 4 star recruits on this squad, and we wrecked heralded North Carolina, then shook Kentucky to the core in closing minutes of that game last night. In my humble opinion, Bill Self Basketball reigns supreme as the best developmental program in the land!

Joe Baker 7 years, 11 months ago

TT and EJ- You will leave with degrees too. That's a huge accopmlishment in the world of OADs.

You all had a great season. You had a great year and almost won a NC.

planojayhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

+1.

That degree may not add a single penny to their future potential NBA earnings, but I bet that TT, EJ, & TRob would be much wiser than those OADs, and they would be a better MEN than these OAD BOYS.

Plus after spending the 3-4 years working hard in practices and battling on the court together, that brotherly love bonds between them and the love and belonging to KU would last forever in their hearts.

jaybate 7 years, 11 months ago

Just as there was a lot of over hype to cut through before the game, there is much to cut through after.

The numbers don't lie.

UK, the team with more NBA draft choices, barely beat the team with fewer current NBA draft choices.

Thomas had the biggest game of the bigs of either team: 18 pts., 17 rebs.

Thomas and Jeff narrowly outscored and outrebounded Davis and Jones.

Davis and Jones out blocked Jeff and Thomas 8 to 4 and probably out altered by the same ratio.

Tyshawn, even adjusting for his 5 turnovers, outscored and out played Teague, despite Teague's two big treys down the stretch.

The coaches split: each got his team to play the strategy he wanted.

UK tried to build a lead early with maximum effort and shot blocking intimidation, before fouling and fatigue began to expose its lack of depth. It gave his team a 14 point lead at half, but it also fouled up his bugs and so guarantied a KU comeback in which KU's bugs would win the scoring and rebounding battle among the bigs in the paint.

KU sacrificed trying to build a lead early for trying to get UK in foul trouble, so they could win the battle of the bigs late. KU succeeded.

So if both coaches achieved their strategy, and KU's bigs out scored and out rebounded UK's, and Tyshawn outscored Teague, how did KU, in Self's unusual word choice, not lose, but get beat?

Answer: the UK wings outscored the KU wings by a big margin, and out blocked and out rebounded and them by a lesser margin. UK's wings were much more efficient scorers also. EJ and Travis could not guard their men. They could not score efficiently either, even though EJ was a plenty good 3-7 from trey. And he should have been 4-8 with a decent call late. Neither EJ, nor Trav, could get operate effectively mid range or at the rim, either the first half, when UK bigs gambled everything and got fouled up, or the second half when UK wings contained them.

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

Well said as always. I would disagree it an extent concerning TRob. His numbers look good but this was not a good game for him. So many short shots missed .....and letting that ball gety slapped out of his hands?? He's a great kid and a special talent....but not his best game by far.

HawkKlaw 7 years, 11 months ago

I agree with most of this, but I would disagree with the notion that Self got his team to play the way he wanted. As coach said at half, we were "pitiful" (Self's words) on defense in the first half. Bill Self's strategy is always defense first. If we had played defense the way Self would have liked in the first half (and hit a few of those close range shots/layups/dunks), it would've been a completely different game in the second half.

And offensively, we never really got into rhythm. Self's offensive strategy is to utilize our biggest strengths...TRob and Jeff Withey. They both played well, but Anthony Davis & Co. made life too difficult for them to adequately adhere to Self's strategy. Our offense looked bad in the first half, and I think Self would agree.

I agree with your analysis as to why KU got beat, but I do not agree that KU employed the strategy that Self put into place (Defense, Defense, Defense and offense through the post). We didn't play our style of ball until sometime in the second half, when it was too late.

Note2Self 7 years, 11 months ago

We got in to a track meet right around the 15min mark in the first, and UK put the fear of God into our boys. That spurt really took us off our game and we were holding on for dear life for the rest of the half. We didn't start to steady the ship until a minute left in the first.

If we would have slowed the tempo at that critical juncture I wonder how this game would have ended. Maybe we are more confident and Kentucy more tentative. Maybe those missed jams and layups fall. The not knowing is the hard part...

Regardless, this team has been amazing. I went to the Regionals and got to see one very frustrating game and one radically delicious game (finishing UNC/Roy = priceless). These gentlemen have given all of us more than we ever expected, and we will be hanging banners and retiring a lot of jerseys based on this squad's outstanding performance.

Thanks boys and thanks HCBS.

PS - Do we have confirmation on Withey's return? I would think that his stock cannot go too much higher than it is now. Please enlighten me.

HawkKlaw 7 years, 11 months ago

100% agree on the tempo of the game. There were several possessions where we just blazed down the court and hurled up a prayer. We played to their strengths and our weaknesses.

And I wish I had an answer on Withey. My best guess is that, with Danny leaving and Withey's draft stock being so high, there's more than a decent chance he'll turn pro.

jaybate 7 years, 11 months ago

I read the game wrong. I figured as follows:

Bigs: even Trav: -3 TT: +6 EJ: +6 bench +1

I was right this was a great and special team.

They are all awesome human beings.

It is KU's greatest non title season, because they came the farthest with what seemed the least.

TRob was superman to the end--probably KU's 3rd or 4th greatest season by a big man in the modern era after Wilt and Danny, and maybe Nick. But Wilt, Danny and Nick never had to play a title game against 6 draft choices.

Tyshawn did Sinatra proud. A great leader and one of the four greatest point guard seasons at KU ever. And the guys that were better never had to finish against 6 draft choices.

A great team and a great season.

Ben Simonett 7 years, 11 months ago

"It is KU's greatest non title season, because they came the farthest with what seemed the least."

TRUTH!

FreddyinLA 7 years, 11 months ago

What happens when the title is vacated in a couple years?

7 years, 11 months ago

If that happens, there is no National Champion for this season. However, UK would relinquish 38 wins from this year, likely placing us ahead of them in all-time wins (we are currently 20 behind them, I believe).

KUbsee69 7 years, 11 months ago

KU vs. UK. A Lamborghini vs. a Ferrari. Last night the Ferrari won ... but there are more races to come.

Looking forward to 9 straight.

bbeckum 7 years, 11 months ago

Great players Great Coaches Great regular season Great tournament Thanks for the memories, Jayhawks.

JayhawkinNE 7 years, 11 months ago

Winning isn't everything.....being a Jayhawk is!

Randy Bombardier 7 years, 11 months ago

T-Rob, It is okay to hurt. It is part of life. One thing about this team, this school, this coach. The fraternity, this family, doesn't end when you leave. Course if you stay...

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

I think he was upset b/c he didn't play well. He's a great kid and seeing him so sad makes me sad. His game was not the best fit for those long arms of KY. I give him an A for effort......and a C for performance. Not all his fault though.......pretty hard to get through that defense.

Sam Constance 7 years, 11 months ago

Didn't play well?

The only aspect of his game that could be seen as a negative was his FG%, since he only shot 6-17 (35.3%).

However, everything else seems to match the idea of playing "well".

18 points 17 rebounds (5 off rebounds) 6/7 from the FT line Only 1 turnover

FLJHK 7 years, 11 months ago

I, for one, never take for granted, nor ever ignore the blessing that it is to be a Jayhawk. The sustained level of excellence of our basketball program is a constant source of great pride. Some get jaded by our phenomenal success, and are satisfied only if the season ends with a National Championship. Not me.

In my view, any season where you collect hardware is a good season. This year we once again, against all odds, brought home the Big 12 conference championship. Folks don’t always appreciate what an unbelievably amazing accomplishment that is. Other than the Big East, the Big 12 is on a par with the best basketball conferences in the country. To win 8 straight championships is simply astonishing. To sustain that level of excellence over time is an accomplishment of historic proportions. No one since UCLA in the 70’s even comes close.

Also this year, we won a regional championship to get to the Final Four. And yes, that is a championship. You get to cut down the nets for that one. How sweet that was!

With these accomplishments, we are the envy of virtually every other school in the country. But this particular and unique season will be long remembered for far more than these notable achievements. This season will be remembered most as the one that redefined for us all the concept of “team.” Never have I seen the whole being greater than the sum of its parts than I saw with this team. This is a team of warriors. This team has heart and grit and toughness and class like no others. This team is the perfect reflection of its amazing head coach. As long as that guy keeps coming back, Jayhawk Nation will continue to flourish.

To the seniors and those otherwise departing the program, I wish for you all of God’s blessings. I hope that TRob and Tyshawn, two of my favorite Jayhawks of all time, find the success and fortune in professional basketball that you so richly deserve.

For the rest of us, we can enjoy the memories of this year’s ride with pride and fondness, while looking forward with confidence to next season and seasons to come.

Rock chalk!

Hank Cross 7 years, 11 months ago

Great post! Going to the FF is like wining the Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, or Orange Bowl. It isn't a NC, but it is still a great accomplishment - especially for this team.

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

So??? Really???? That's the excuse some of you are pushing???? That UK pays its players and they were recruited illegally.....and they are thieves and they are corrupt???

Come on!! You know how pathetic that is?

Look......you know why we lost? Kentucky is a much better team with way more talent. Period. it's that simple and you need to get a grip.

KU made a great effort. But we all know this game was not that close. A nice comeback in the end.....but not a close game......and you know what? That's ok. Nobody expected it from KU and to go as far as they did is absolutely great.

But stop making excuses .....wake up and smell the coffee

HawkKlaw 7 years, 11 months ago

Only one of the three responses to your post above insinuated that UK pays its players. There were two other responses that didn't make this unfounded excuse.

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

Not just looking at my post......I have been hearing that all week.....especially since yesterday. Lets admit the truth,have great memories of this season, and move on.

HawkKlaw 7 years, 11 months ago

I think the only people not moving on are the ones making these excuses. Reading through the posts, there are certainly a couple making excuses about Cal paying his players. But from what I can tell, the predominant response to last night's game is that all of us are proud of our team even though they came up a little short last night. There's not a lot of finger-pointing going on (good to see on this board).

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

I agree......and yes very proud of these guys. Not just getting to the title game but everything including winning Big12.

KGphoto 7 years, 11 months ago

Not excuses. Just reasonable suspicion that Calipari has cheated the system a third time. I find it impossible to believe that you think THIS team is the only one he didn't cheat for.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 11 months ago

Don't forget the other two times really had nothing to do with him. I think Cal knows but turns a blind eye, but I don't think he cheats. Someone would have come out by now and said something.

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

Innocent until proven guilty. As far as I know....there is no proof that Cal has done anything. Until i see something.....just have to believe the best team won. And as I said.....regardless of everything else....reality is that these are kids playing kids. Just beacsue all this talent ended up at UK is no reason to make assumptions.

jaybate 7 years, 11 months ago

The numbers don't lie.

The game was close and UK was certain to lose, if we made a few plays. Our front line outscored and outrebounded theirs. They are a much thinner team that cannot play anywhere near their peak for more than 20 minutes in a 2 in 3 day format. We gassed them, fouled up their bugs, then closed for the kill. Frankly, they lucked out, from the moment they shot their wad the first half. We had to control their wings but did not. In the end their athleticism did not beat us. It was the shooting of their wings and our failure to use the moving screen as well. KU suckered UK into KU's rope-a- dope. It worked. There is no question the strategy worked. The problem was their wings could shoot off their moving screens and ours could not shoot off our ball movement without mid range moving screens.

The moving screens almost beat us against OSU, but our guys were making plays and won. UK's moving screens worked and our guys did not make plays. Cal's dribble drive was to tough for our wings to guard outside.

Our guys did get intimidated by UK's shot blocking. UK has 5 draft choices and 4 could sky. But they could not sky for 40 minutes with fouls and that is why we almost beat them.

Andy Godwin 7 years, 11 months ago

“Like coach (Bill) Self said, I don’t think we lost this game. I think we just got beat. All season we’ve been coming back from 12-point deficits,” Robinson said, adding, “I’m just glad I got to be part of this team.”

I was at the game and you lost it. KU shot poorly, couldn't finish around the rim. How many point blank shots, including two dunks did KU miss? You were out hustled and rebounded and how many balls were ripped out of KU players hands? Even as poorly as they played in the first half, the beginning of the second half could have changed the whole game yet failure to convert open shots and then those turnovers let UK off the hook. Dumb turnovers at inopportune times have plagued this team all year and finally cost KU a championship. UK could have been beaten, but spotting a team a large lead in a national championship game and then giving up possessions is a recipe for failure.

Finally, KU's administration should be embarrassed. I am not sure how student tickets are distributed/made available by the university, but the student section was not even half full, while UK's student were rocking. For the best student section as voted this year, to be absent from the title game was ridiculous and a poor reflection on KU and its basketball program.

yates33333 7 years, 11 months ago

Pretty well written for a Misery student or graduate.

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

You're so funny. Nobody would ever think you were not a KU fan.

Sam Constance 7 years, 11 months ago

You know what type of person quibbles over semantic issues like "we didn't lose, they won" after a matchup between the final remaining teams in college basketball?

Someone who is filled with bitterness. Someone who takes pleasure in being antagonistic. Someone who can't grasp the idea that there is no such thing as a choice between Team A winning and Team B losing. One cannot occur without the other.

So when you say that KU "lost" the game through turnovers and being outrebounded, you are technically correct. But it doesn't change the fact that you missed Self's point: KU lost because UK was the better team.

yates33333 7 years, 11 months ago

In a few years very few will remember this year's team and many of the players, but this was a group of outstanding players. The 7 or 8 who played were a TEAM. They won as a team and they lost as a team. Sometimes you just aren't as good as the opponent, and they beat you. Kentucky was a team that will long be remembered for the assembled talent. KU should be remembered as a great TEAM. You don't have to be the national champions to be great. I think of the 1985 or 1986 team. I can't remember how to date it, but the team that lost to Duke in the semi-finals. Despite not winning the NCAA championship I still believe it was the best KU team I ever saw play beginning in 1947. Fifty two, eighty-eight, 2008 were all outstanding groups, as was Wilt Chamberlain's team, but 1985/86 had the best talent as a group. This year's team belongs in our memory along with these teams.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!!

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 11 months ago

I don't think I'll ever change my opinion on that category - - - Have to go with '97. They year when Arizona beat them in the Sweet 16. 1 loss on the whole year up until that game and even that one loss was on a scrambled loose -ball thrown up in desperation off a near steal from Jacque Vaughn by Lamont Frazier in double overtime in Columbia.

EASILY the best team in Jayhawk's history that I've seen and EASILY was the best team in the NCAA that year and probably one of the top 5 or so of the last 25 years or so. I want to say that team had Vaughn, Haase, Pierce, LaFrentz, Pollard, Billy Thomas, Ryan Robertson, Nick Bradford, T.J. Pugh & B.J. Williams

Just a DOMINATING year....only 3 games all year long that were 7 pts. or tighter!!!

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

No....drgn.....they didn't back off. I think you're getting too conspiracy-theory here. Cal had a strategy in the 2nd half......and he wasn't thinking about appearances/NBA stuff. He certyainly wasn't wanting to intentionally make it close......especially given his past.

It is what it is. They are better and gave his a beat-down. But that's ok. We had great year and gave great effort.

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

Agree with some of your points....but just can't go where you are. Reality is that these are still 19-20 year old kids also playing 19-20 year old kids. It's not like we were playing an NBA team of fully grown men.

I will say I do certainly agree they did not seem excited after the game. But that could just be that they knew all along they would win and were convinced.....you just dont know what's in someones mind or heart.

Isn't KU guilty of this as well? Do you really expect TRob to come back to class next week? No....when players come out early they leave school and withdraw from classes.......Selby.X Henry,Paul Pierce.....they never entered a classroom at KU again.

HawkKlaw 7 years, 11 months ago

Quit making excuses. KU lost to the best team in college basketball last night. Sure, they had a bunch of future NBA stars on their team, but so did KU in '08. Last I checked that wasn't a crime. Until something is proven, quit with the accusations.

HawkKlaw 7 years, 11 months ago

Kentucky is loaded, but it's not like they only have one and dones. There are three that I can count on their roster. But two of their sophomores made huge contributions to the victory last night.

I get what you're saying about UK being a team full of lottery picks, but I don't agree that Cal had any strategy for keeping the game close to prevent being investigated, as you claimed. To insinuate that really takes away from what Cal accomplished. I know he's been in trouble in the past, and he may get in trouble once again, but until there's some sort of hard evidence that he cheated to get this team to win it all, it would be best to lose with class and give credit where it's due.

And if it's an issue you have with the NCAA, say that. UK is a real team, just like UNC is a real team, just like KU is a real team. UK played by the rules, for all we know. As far as NCAA recruiting goes, don't hate the player, hate the game.

FoCoCoHawk 7 years, 11 months ago

I pretty much agree with everything you said drgn. What's surprising to me is how little animosity I have for any of the Kentucky players...excellent athletes, seemingly classy individuals and good teammates to each other. Hell maybe even good students. I wish them well.

But I still think the best thing about Kentucky is that they are not Missouri. I despise John Caplipari the way I might despise a sleezy defense attorney who subverts justice by looking for loopholes. Whether jurors are actually being bribed or not I leave to the suspicious minds of NCAA investigators. And justice demands KU taking its rightful place as the winningest progam ever.

NCAA Investigators: Like EJ said "put yall's shoes on!'

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

I noticed the Kentucky players after the game.......they didn't even look that happy or excited.....probably thinking about how they can get ditch their classes and get the heck out of Lexington and on to $$$$$$.

Our guys? Looked so sad and upset. I felt badly for them. Had they won......I think they would have been going crazy.

KY is more talented and the better team......but I will take our kids' heart and effort.

dhinkansas 7 years, 11 months ago

Great run...heck of a season. I hate to see the players upset...I know they wanted to win, but what a great year they gave us....hope they can be proud of that today.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 11 months ago

At the game last night I had a few observations:

First and foremost, KU = Classy UK, especially their fans = Assy

TRob seems to have forgotten how to make layups. And they're not even close, a lot of times he doesn't even draw iron.

EJ started playing (in the last few weeks) to the potential we've all seen in him.

Did Kentucky step out of bounds right in front of Cal sometime in the 2nd half when we were making a run. From my suburban location in the upper deck it looked like it.

It's nice to watch a game without the TV on.

It was my wife's first KU game ever, my first since 1988!

How might the game have turned if TRob and Withey had converted their dunk attempts off the putback and alley oop?

It was great hearing the band playing the Jayhawk songs!

Apparently The Fray was not well received. I enjoyed it!

As long as the Jayhawks have Bill Self, we will be one of the strongest teams around, bar none. Although his strategy of letting the guys fall behind and then we'll come back didn't work last night :)

Every time Doron Lamb, a heck of a player, scored, they'd show his picture on the big screen. He posed for his picture with that stupid 3 ball circle around the eye thing. Unfortunately we saw that picture a lot.

Seats a third of the way up the upper level weren't nearly as bad as I thought they'd be. Four uk fans who stood on every shot were as bad as I thought I'd see, then when I politely asked them to stay seated, they told me to watch it on the big screen if I couldn't see. (we moved to other seats)

Glad I'm off for spring break this week because I never would have gone to the game last night! Rock Chalk, see you all next season!

Jack Wilson 7 years, 11 months ago

I think many of you are simply wanting to gloss over the amazing coaching job Calipari did. It is not easy to take such talent, keep them focused, keep them unselfish, and follow through and win the title. That team got better as the year progressed. Dream teams, many times, crash and burn. Too many egos, lots of distractions. He took three freshmen, two sophomores, and senior, and one the title. Most with the NBA on their minds.

We may want to look down our noses at how UK does things. But we are looking up at their 8 national titles.

And go back and look .. how many of those kids did Self recruit? Or would he have been more than happy to have in a Jayhawks' uniform?

Somehow folks think this game only occurs on the floor. Part of the college game is assembling talent. Recruiting. That is part of what a coach should get credit for. Further, we can sit here and piously speculate that Calipari cheated, or paid his players, but it is silly and has no meaning. I emphasize "speculate." I don't understand what compels some to do that -- actually I do understand what compels that thought process, but I don't understand what it accomplishes. It's really just demeaning.

Let's just tip our cap, respect another great program, and a coach that (while not what we would necessarily prefer) did one heck of a job this season.

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

100% agree. No excuses......no regrets. Great year.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 11 months ago

Great post, cal is a great coach and appears to be at the wrong place wrong time with vacations because he has never been found involved. But then again if trouble follows you...

Alex Peekeaton 7 years, 11 months ago

What a post coming from a UK guy....might be the classiest post I have ever read!!! Cheers!!!

Ben Simonett 7 years, 11 months ago

Yes, an honest well reasoned line of thought critical of the KU team, can't be a true fan right?

HEM is one of the few posters on this site i actually respect because he's willing to be unbiased.

he's not a UK fan

Tony Bandle 7 years, 11 months ago

Don't forget to mention that Kentucky had lead the NCAA in recruiting violations, suspensions and forfeited games...until Calipari showed up at UMass and Memphis!!

Sam Constance 7 years, 11 months ago

The reason people speculate is because, after three straight seasons of completely DOMINATING the recruiting trails, it's hard not to wonder what's so different about Kentucky compared to the entire rest of college basketball.

I too doubt that Calipari pays his players, but I would love to know what, exactly, he is doing to convince 17/18 year old kids, at an age group when they are notoriously fickle, to consistently come to play for him, at a school where it's obvious that opportunity to play will be harder to come by.

Why is Calipari the only "Recruit Whisperer" out there?

All that being said, it really has nothing to do with last night's game on the court. KU could have won in spite of the talent level they were facing if they'd played better. Heck, if they had hit half of the bunnies they missed, the game would have been ENTIRELY different.

I don't view the whole "Calipari & recruiting" issue as the reason we lost. More of a curiosity, given that something doesn't seem to be quite right. I'd love to hear anyone's reasonable explanations for why Calipari is so much better than every other coach at recruiting.

I'm sure his close association with Worldwide Wes has absolutely nothing to do with it...

Jack Jones 7 years, 11 months ago

However, you just cannot dis-regard the fact that, while KU recruits some outstanding players, it's just not the same as having the very cream of the crop standing in line at the Kentucky's, the North Carolina's, the Duke's. To discount that fact, is to ignore a major reality. Bill Self does as good a job, perhaps even better, with the player's he does recruit.

Hank Cross 7 years, 11 months ago

Cal did do a great job coaching a team with superior talent. It's pointless to wish or speculate about the NCAA vacating the title. The issue was settled on the floor last night and the best team won. That has nothing do with the fact that we love our team and wouldn't trade them for any other.

Alohahawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Somewhat agree, with one major exception - recruiting. How does one account for a recruit (Terrence Jones) announcing in a nationally aired broadcast that he has decided to attend Washington (or was it Wash. State?), but less than an hour later (Exact time?), after he receives a phone call from Cal Lie Pari, Jones switches his choice to Kenstinky? It leaves a ton of questions in my mind. Why would a recruit be willing to make a public a** of themselves by doing such a thing? And, it's also considered dirty recruiting by most ethical coaches. It is more or less an unwritten agreement between coaches that, once a recruit announces for a school, that recruit is off limits. That's one obvious reason why one must question Cal Lie Pari's ethics. That's why people speculate on how many less publicized misdeeds have occurred under Cal Lie Pari's virtuous (?) regimes, for which he has not had to answer. >Now, equat that to a similar situation: Ohio's starting guard (forget his name) received the Conference Freshman of the Year award two years ago, and immediately afterwards, even though he was on scholarship to Ohio, Baylor's Scott Drew and Tennessee's fired coach (Can't remember his name) both attempted to talk him into transfering to their schools. That, BTW, is against NCAA rules. Is there really any difference between the two situations? Technically, the first is legal, while the second is not. >And people ask why I can't stand Cal Lie Pari (add Scott Drew), and why he has such a sleezy reputation.

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Man, that photo just breaks my heart.

As badly as I feel for Thomas, when I see the look on Tyshawn's face it makes me feel like a real ass for some of the things I said about him during the course of the year.

I know he will recover from this and be successful in the future, but my thoughts and prayers are with him and all the players and coaches right now.

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

They will fine. It's sad now but they will soon realize what a great year it was and how well they did. And certainly no shame in losing to KY. I dont they anyone in college b-ball could have beaten them this year in the tournament

Justin Lindsley 7 years, 11 months ago

Great team, great character, thanks Hawks! Thank you Coach Self for representing Jayhawk nation so well. Keep up the great work. Stay the course!! Can't wait until next year.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 11 months ago

Not to take away anything from UK, but college b ball has been down for about 4 years. The last good year were there were more then 4 really good teams was in 08. This year was about as bad as you get. I blame the NBA, to many kids are leaving early thinking they are better then they really are. They aren't mature enough for the pros yet. The rule needs to change. Make it like the NFL. 3 years it will benefit both leagues. But congrats to UK, it was their year and nothing was going to stop them. Congrats to our team. You made KU very proud with your never give up attitude.

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

There is no crime,no conspiracy and no corruption to Kentucky. They were able to assemble a ton of talent at every position at the same point in time. That's all there is to it.

And if you put aside all of that.......there is still the common denominator of kids playing kids. Period. There were no 27 year old,fully developed and experinced men playing on Kentucky. They had more talent.....and they won the championship.

Be mad at the NCAA and the rules if you want.....but dont blame KY for being loaded. Kansas would do the same thing if we could. I for one would love to see that kind of talent at KU.

It is what it is.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 11 months ago

What do you mean by "we"?????!!!!!! Speak for yourself, scumbag!!!

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

Oakville! Really? That angers you?? "Scumbag"?? wow......we have often exchanged cordial remarks. I'm surprised. If something I said offends you....I apologize. Not sure what the heck set you off.....wow.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 11 months ago

Sorry, sorry, sorry..theend, I misread your post and got some bad news at the same time.. my apologies, my friend. Of course you weren't asking us to cheat, just try pulling in more elite talent.

Crap, I'm still so frustrated ..Kentucky didn't beat us.. we beat ourselves.

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

I thought so......when I read that I couldn't believe that was you.......thought someone had taken over your computer!!

No apology necessary......hope all is well and news is not too bad.

I'm still angry too......way too many mistakes that you just can't make against a great team. Still.....a great year!

Ethan Berger 7 years, 11 months ago

I think UK beat us. Of course we made mistakes but so did they. We had 5 guys going against 8 (not talking about the refs, rather talking about their bench). Their length bothered us and Teague made some very very difficult shots.

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

Their length was a huge difference. Even though TRob had 18 pts.....he missed all those short shots for a reason....mainly Davis

Ethan Berger 7 years, 11 months ago

Yep but I think Withey also showed Davis has an Achilles heel. Offense. But my goodness, Davis is a stud on defense.

Justin Lindsley 7 years, 11 months ago

Here is a coach who has averaged 32.8 victories since 2006 -- more wins total, 197, than any other coach in the history of college basketball over a six-year span -- while ensuring that every four-year Jayhawk, from Jeremy Case to Tyshawn Taylor, has played in at least one Final Four. Self, 49, has also sent 17 Kansas players to the NBA -- not yet counting any of the players on this current team -- including six lottery picks. What's more, his Jayhawks have produced 25 Academic All-Big 12 selections (about 2.8 per year), a mark that leads the Big 12.

What a great coach we have. Enjoy it. The success that Self has had to this point has never been witnessed. We are lucky. Thanks, Coach Self. Bring it again next year!!!

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 11 months ago

theend - I'd like to see it spread around more teams. Too much on one team. Anthony Davis on UK? That's fine but shouldn't've been able to get Kidd-Gilchrist too. :( Why's Teague (from Indianapolis) not going to Indiana or Purde, why did we not bring in Willie Cauley and he's going to UK next year? You KNOW if Cal was still at Memphis that Archie Goodwin would probably be going there and not to UK, being from Arkansas. I also find it interesting how the Iowa guys STILL go to Roy down at UNC. I still remember being stunned at DeAndre Daniels's UConn decision - - - -sure looking stupid now.

I remember in all of the years the one that I think hurt the most was Baron Davis.....didn't he hold a press conference, had a KU & UCLA hat and threw the KU hat over his shoulder?

I think the best "one we didn't see coming" with regards to how good he ended up being was Drew Gooden. Wow! Was he a LOT better than we expected, or what?!?!?!

The most frustrating are the ones that don't pan out. But can't think of too many of those right now. Micah Downs, maybe?...he didn't stick around long though.

Probably the one who showed glimpses of how good he could be but never was able to stay injury-free nor really got to be as good as he should've been to me was Lester Earl.

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

Some good points for sure. I doubt this will happen too often where a team like KY can assemble this talent together. Maybe once very 5 years or so. But it obviously can happen. It's just one of those things. And it's not new.....there have been teams like this before.......Remember UNLV in 1990?? They won by 30 [points in the title game....against Duke!!

Sam Constance 7 years, 11 months ago

They've done it now three years in a row.

This is not the "once in awhile" scenario where everything happens to align just right and assemble a collection of talent that doesn't come along often.

This is a demonstrable pattern of Coach Calipari dominating the recruiting trail season after season.

Kye Clark 7 years, 11 months ago

But they haven't won the title 3 years in a row. I think that is his point, that a group this good will only come along once in awhile. Cal may continue to dominate the recruiting trail, but early defections balance out the equation giving other teams better chances of winning it all. This year was just different because he had a couple hold-overs from his last OAD class, and the freshman he brought in this year were probably a notch above some of the others.

Kye Clark 7 years, 11 months ago

Well you can't assume kids will go to the school in the same geographic region that they are from. If they did, we'd be in trouble. Coach Self recruits from all over. No one is saying "why didn't TRob play at Georgetown?" or "why didn't EJ go to UNLV? Or Indiana since he grew up there?"

As to why we didn't bring in Willie Cauley, I'd heard rumors that his camp didn't want anything to do with KU. Which is fine with me, seeing him play he's not that great. Played really soft everytime I saw him.

Kye Clark 7 years, 11 months ago

OK, gonna weigh in. Just a general response to HEM, theend, and some other posters who have echoed their sentiments:

First of all, we did lose to a more talented team last night. No doubt about it. I think a lot of us, myself included, had been kidding ourselves to think we would win. My heart had said we'd win, my head said we had maybe a 1 in 3 chance. No excuses. And just on the surface, there is no shame in losing to this team. This UK team would have beaten most championships teams going back several years. Someone mentioned the Florida teams as possibly being better. Maybe. They're both on that same high level. Along those same lines, I think this KU team beats UConn or Butler last year, or Duke or Butler the year before. So it was a bad draw, for this KU team to come up against this UK team.

Next, let's examine how & why this UK team was this good. They caught a bit of a break when Terrance Jones decided to come back, and to a lesser extent Lamb. Next UK lands probably the two best freshman of the incoming class - Anthony Davis & Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Some have described Anthony Davis as a once-in-a-generation talent. Even if you don't go that far, you have to acknowledge how special he was, to be the consensus POY as a freshman. So to theend's point, is that really what we need to compete for national championships? In KU's "down" year, and with UK having a special collection of talent, we played them to a single-digit game. Championship talent fluctuates from year-to-year. More likely it won't take a team this good to win it all in the future, at least not on a yearly basis.

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

Always good posts from Icthawk......and I am actually coming around more to your way of thinking in the last few hours. Very rare and hard to collect this loaded talent at the same point in time. My thought was more "wishful thinking". You're right......probably would not take this high level of talent to win, at least most of the time. This year it would with Kentucky.

I dont think you were wrong to think we could win. I was 50-50. They almost pulled it off. Without the mistakes and missed short shots......who knows?

We're already looking good for next year!!

Kye Clark 7 years, 11 months ago

Back to how UK assembled this team, and how Cal is able to land so many more great recruits than everybody else every year. I'm not one that subscribes to the theory that Cal is totally crooked and is cheating to get these players. Don't get me wrong, I think the guy is a sleazeball, and absolutely everything might not be on the up-and-up, but the reason is actually not that hard to comprehend. He gets guys to the NBA, faster and at a higher draft position than anybody else. If you're a kid who has little interest in the college experience and are only using college as a launching pad to the NBA, where would you go? In this day and age, the vast majority of top 10, maybe even top 20 talent, are wanting to start getting paid as soon as possible. I don't like it, but it's the way it is. It's the NBA's rule. I hope it changes. But until it does, Calipari has found a system that is successful. And to HEM's point, it is a good coaching job to get players who have their eyes on the money to play together well enough to win an NBA title. I think in this respect Cal has taken a page from Self's book, and demanded that these talented prima donnas commit to playing tough defense. I'm not ready to call taking the clearly most talented team to the national title a great on-court coaching job, but anytime you win the title the totality of that job - both recruiting and player coaching - should be considered very good, and probably in this instance great considering how I think it stacks up against past champions.

Somewhat similar to what I said last night in the post-game discussion, we should all be proud of this team. Before the game that's what everybody was saying. Heck, before the OSU game that's what everybody was saying. How dare you people change your tune. Fickle. This team deserves a better class of fans than a bunch of fair-weather turncoats. It's OK to be disappointed about the loss. It hurts. I get it. Just try and remember how special this season was before spouting off on the message boards or in-game discussion. Criticism is fine. Pointing out what we could do better is fine. But don't let the outcome of the final game we didn't think they'd be in change how you felt about this team all year long.

Sam Constance 7 years, 11 months ago

"He gets guys to the NBA, faster and at a higher draft position than anybody else. If you're a kid who has little interest in the college experience and are only using college as a launching pad to the NBA, where would you go?"


I don't think it's that simple. It's not like Calipari's guys are getting drafted any higher than they would if the NBA permitted guys straight out of high school into the draft.

If I'm putting myself in the mindset of a young player trying to get to the NBA, these are the following things I value:

1) Ability to get playing time immediately 2) Ability to get lots of media coverage--i.e., a school that's on TV a lot 3) Ability to have high profile games in the tournament--i.e., a team that is likely to make the tournament, and ideally, make a deep run

A player can get all of those things at multiple schools. What makes UK different? And more to the point, what makes UK seemingly immune to having similar position guys avoid going to the same school? Perhaps some kind of a wink-wink set up with Calipari's close friend, Worldwide Wes? WW is more connected in NBA circles than any non-coach/player. This way Calipari gets an advantage in pulling in these notoriously fickle kids without the difficulty of a paper trail or actual money/goods changing hands.

All that being said...

The fact that I think there is some degree of underhandedness around Calipari doesn't change my feelings about THIS Jayhawks team. My ability to be proud of the lofty heights our boys reached this year is in no way affected by my suspicions.

I love these guys for their heart.

I love these guys for drawing me in emotionally, perhaps more than any other team I've watched at Kansas. I loved the 2008 team too, but the emotion I felt from that game and win was about Kansas finally getting over the hump after two decades of frustration. With this team, it's about how proud I am of these young men who play a game with more pressure than most of us deal with in our regular jobs.

And most importantly, I love this team for their will and determination. There is not a single one of the Regular 7 (Robinson, Taylor, Withey, Releford, Johnson, Teahan, Young) who didn't come up HUGE for Kansas at some point this season. For example, Teahan, who had a fairly forgettable season overall, worked his butt off and came up aces in the time when Kansas needed him the most (comeback against Missouri, for those of you who are slow :-D)

At the beginning of the season, I thought to myself "how wonderful would it be to watch Robinson lead this team to a great season after all he suffered last year?". And somewhere along the line, that wishful hope for Robinson morphed into a more general feeling of wanting the team to succeed because they so embodied everything that is right about college athletics and the concept of "team".

What a season. What a freaking season. This one's going to stick with me for a long time to come.

Kye Clark 7 years, 11 months ago

So moving forward, what needs to happen for us to compete? I think most people are happy with the recruiting efforts of late. Any word/preferences on the coaching staff replacements? Something I'm curious about, we've seen Self's teams both succeed and under-achieve playing with two distinctive front-court styles: one style has two athletic 4s starting. The success obviously came in '08, the underachievement came last year with the Morris Hawks. The other style features an athletic 4 and a rim-protecting 5. The success being this year, the underachievement coming in the '10 UNI loss with Cole at the 5. So which style do you prefer my fellow KU fans? I think the obvious preference would be for Self to have the personnel for both styles, as we saw how this team struggled playing teams with a "stretch 4" or 4-out 1-in/4-guard line-ups, but if I had to pick one I think I prefer having the rim-protector.

Anyway, sorry to go a little all over the place with this post. Respond or ignore as you see fit.

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

Replacing Danny Manning will be a big deal. Any thoughts? Some people have said Wayne Simien would be a good choice......but not sure if he would leave his ministry work or if he would be the best fit.

Kye Clark 7 years, 11 months ago

Agree on losing Danny. I really have no read on what direction they'll go in as far as replacements.

jaycon11 7 years, 11 months ago

keep in mind that danny was promoted after, what, 4 yrs as an team manager and director of devcelopment. iow, danny had a few years to get to the point where he was ready to coach the bigs at ku. given this, it would not make sense to expect simien to be asked to come in and take the role danny was groomed for, without any previous coaching experience.

Ben Simonett 7 years, 11 months ago

Legitimate 5 > 2 athletic 4s

also somebody stole your avatar and its really screwing me up when i try to skim for your posts :/

JayHok 7 years, 11 months ago

What a year KU. We're all proud.

In case anyone was wondering, yes, Wes Anderson was sitting behind the Kentucky bench last night. The same Wes Anderson who was seen sitting at an NBA game in Detroit with Rose the night before he took the SAT test in Detroit.

Made me feel real good, remembering the quotes from 2 coaches who spoke to a Chicago paper that Davis's dad was asking for $150K to play for them. Made me feel great when I heard the ESPN report on how people like Wes Anderson are able to pay players without it being traced. Made me feel even better when the the Chicago paper wrote another story about Davis's dad taking $200K from a person associated with UK.

This whole tournament game made me feel really good when we were down 18 and I thought back to Calipari's recruitment of Kidd-Gilchrist and the fact that his high school team couldn't play for the state championship his junior year of high school because of Calipari arriving at an early season practice that was set up for him to scout and get to know Kidd. Made me smile.

Hearing further reports from Fox on how Calipari has runners with the ability to pay his recruits untraceable money or an SUV similar to what Jones was seen escaping after a traffic accident earlier this year, whether it be Wes Anderson or somebody else pulling strings made me feel great as well when I saw the Jayhawks going in for layup after layup to get it swatted away by multiple future NBA players including Terrence Jones. It made me really happy to think back to that phone call that Calipari gave Terrence Jones after he went on TV to declare that he was going to Washington. That made me very happy, almost as happy as when Calipari left Memphis and had a loophole in the his recruits letters of intent that allowed them to follow Calipari wherever he went. That made me feel really good when thinking that Wes Anderson had landed many of these players and thinking of what type of wire transfer allowed these kids to feel so loyal to Anderson and Calipari during a transition like this.

In the end while reading about the shooting in Lexington last night, the car that was flipped and put on fire, the car driven into a restraunt nearly killing 50 diners, the 30 taken to the ER, some with life threatening emergencies, it really sunk in how great Cal is to college ball.

Other websites are discussing how this season will be vacated by Calipari. I don't know if it will or not, but this many #1 classes in a row surely at some point surely will be a red flag to the NCAA.

KU has a lot to be proud of last night, they came very close to making a comeback for the ages.

If this Cal team ends up being vacated that would be the best thing for college ball. Kentucky would only have 7 championships, i could live with that even if they didn't credit Self with one more. I could certainly handle being #1 on the all-time win list.

It sickens me Cal has a title even if it's only for a month.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 11 months ago

Sorry, my friend but if you think the NCAA has any kind of backbone or clue to buck Calislimy, you are in for a disappointment. Crapping on UMass and Memphis is one thing, but UK is untouchable. Sad but true!!!

HawkKlaw 7 years, 11 months ago

I don't think UK is untouchable. Remember, the NCAA vacated that BCS Championship that USC won a few years ago. USC is an elite NCAA football program. If they'll strip a football title from USC, I truly believe that they would strip a basketball title from UK. Whether or not they have sufficient evidence to start an investigation is the big issue.

Sam Constance 7 years, 11 months ago

I think the NCAA's willingness to eradicate football titles is more liberal because of the way they are determined.

Bowl season is what drives college football. Wiping away one of the games doesn't change much. The NCAA tournament is what drives college basketball. Wiping away the final, pinnacle game, makes it feel like the other 60-something games were all for naught.

JayHok 7 years, 11 months ago

Is Wes Anderson, the man who was with Derrick Rose the night before Rose passed his 3rd and final SAT test in Detroit, sitting behind the UK bench last night not enough of a reason to investigate Calipari?

How about two college coaches reporting earlier this year that Davis' Dad was on the take for $150K for his son's L.O.I. and several sources close to Davis in Chicago saying an employee from UK paid Davis $200K to go to Kentucky?

Judging from everything we've learned in the last week, Frank Martin's connections included, can't we just agree it probably happened. Cal knew he needed Davis and Davis was the one besides Jones he wasn't going to get. Guess who lives very close to Chicago. Wes Anderson.

Most of these elite athletes will play for Calipari now. But it appeared Davis' dad needed some persuasion.

Guess who was sitting pretty close to Wes last night. The father of Anthony Davis.

Sam Constance 7 years, 11 months ago

As some have noted already, since Kentucky won the game last night, the likelihood of this season being vacated is somewhere between "slim" and "none".

The NCAA has a history of refusing to vacate champions. It's never happened. Not even to NCAA whipping-boy Jerry Tarkanian.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 11 months ago

If I could go back in time and change anything, all I'd ask was that those two dunks went in and we were bringing the ball upcourt down by two with a minute left...it would have been classic to see the look on Calipari's face!!!

No doubt, we gave Kentucky their biggest challenge of the tourney...and when you see Kevin, Conner and Justin logging minutes in the NCAA Title Game against maybe the best team of the last decade, you look back and realize what a miraculous season it was for our Jayhawks!!!

Tony Bandle 7 years, 11 months ago

PS This is hilarious..the 2012 preseason poll is already out... Indiana one, Kansas three and Missouri maybe 25..on the cusp!!

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

How can Kentucky not be number one next year? According to the "expert analysts" I saw, they make it sound like Kentucky will never lose another game for the rest of eternity. They will continue to nab every single number one recruit and will just continue to hang NC banners until they run out of room and have to build another arena.

Alohahawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Ehh? Did you mean the 2013 season? The 2012 season just ended. :>)

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

May sound crazy......but I wonder if the whole complexion of the game could have been changed in those first 2 minutes. We looked briefly great....2 point lead....then a blocked shot and then Releford just missed that lay up.....If we could have gone up 4 on them and made another stop???? Who knows?.....probably would not have changed much if anything....but for a brief few seconds.....was looking good.

Justin Lindsley 7 years, 11 months ago

B-mac and Traylor have a semester of D-1 practice under their belts. DO YOU THINK THAT MIGHT MAKE A DIFFERENCE? I think they will be ahead of the game. If Peters and Ellis are ready to contribute something, we should be bringing home number 9!! and hopefully a deep run in the the tourney.

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

Yes....I think that will be a major advantage for KU.

texashawk10 7 years, 11 months ago

Kentucky had a great team this year that played suffocating team defense all year long. The best team in the country doesn't always win the national title, but this year they did. This Kentucky team may have 3 OAD's, and lose 5-6 players from their rotation, but I'm believe Lamb will be back next year and I also think there's a decent chance that Teague will be back next year as well. Their recruiting class for next year isn't as loaded in years past and they could be hurting for some quality depth next year. Right now, Wiltjer is the only player who played significant minutes that is for sure returning. If Teague and Lamb both return, that's a pretty good nucleus to throw Archie Goodwin, Alex Poythress, and Willie Cauley into. That's a solid team, but not a national title contending team and I don't even think it matters if Shabazz Muhammad goes there either because I don't see Kentucky having the same level of quality on their bench next year like this year.

KU on the other hand is looking at a starting lineup of EJ, Releford, Withey, Ellis, and either B-Mac or Naadir with one of those two coming off the bench along with Kevin Young, a Justin Wesley that can play a little defense, along with Jamari Traylor. Not a bad 9 man rotation right there for Bill Self next year. I do think Merv Lindsay either transfers or redshirts next season since Self likes to redshirt kids as sophomores. I have a feeling KU is going to be a top 10 team most of next season as well and on the shortlist of national title contenders once again. Bring it on home again next Bill!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Sam Constance 7 years, 11 months ago

I'd be surprised if Lamb is back, given the lack of guards in this year's draft, and the fact that he went out in the title game and played as big a part in beating us as Davis did.

I'd be more surprised if Teague leaves, but again, this is a weak draft for guards, and it's hard to say what's going to happen when teams win a title. All bets are off at that point.

Some teams do it like 2006 Florida and get this notion in their heads that they'll come back and repeat. Or more common is when players that might not have left if they hadn't won a title go ahead and do so. Mario Chalmers comes to mind from Kansas' 2008 team. But maybe he was gone regardless...

Alex Peekeaton 7 years, 11 months ago

A couple of players you missed...NC State transfer PG Ryan Harrow who was one of the top point guards in class of 2010...he has been able to practice all year and learn Cal's system...6' 7 Guard Jon Hood - top 50 player who is a remarkable shooter and was out with an injury all year...next week, 4-11, UK will hear if the # 1(Nerlens Noel), # 2 (Shabazz Muhammad), and # 7 (Anthony Bennett) sign with UK...I see only Lamb possibly coming back from our rotation this year - Teague will go pro.

KULA 7 years, 11 months ago

Great game, and great season by the Jayhawks. Just couldn't quite get it close enough close enough late to make Kentucky feel the pressure, which is what we had to do to win this game. Kentucky was an amazing group of athletes, but I couldn't help feeling the refs were a bit awed by their press clippings.

Jeff didn't get enough credit for the defensive job he did on the Most Wonderful Player To Ever Step On The Court. And the pundits stuck with their same theme from the whole year, that Davis' scoring doesn't matter because his blocks are so important. And yet it was Jeff who came away with the tournament record. Although it won't surprise me if they revisit the official stats and give Davis credit for a few more blocks. Anyway, can't wait to see Jeff next year--look for 150 blocks.

Thomas Robinson should have been Player of the Year because his stats were compiled against double teams all year.

I'll give Calipari credit for coaching that young group and keeping them on the same page. But no one should be surprised he's able to recruit so well. He offers an uptempo NBA style game that's gonna showcase their talents. He will let them play their natural position with a group of other natural position players who will complement each other, i.e. swingmen will not be expected to mix it up with bigs down low, shooting guards will not expected to play point and think "pass first." He can offer them plenty of playing time right away because of the turnover. He'll have them on TV every week. He can offer them a legitimate chance to win the National Championship. He has a proven record of getting players to the NBA, which is the bottom line for most of his recruits--they wouldn't even think about college if they didn't have to.

Even so, I'll take our 3 & 4 year players and the opportunity to watch them grow throughout their career.

Congratulations again, Jayhawks and Bill Self, for another fantastic year. And I can't wait for next season--we're already a Top Ten team.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 11 months ago

You forgot the fact his pay scale for players is way above everybody else!!

Alohahawk 7 years, 11 months ago

With their player turnover rate, by this time next year most Kenstinky fans probably won't remember who played on this year's team. What with all the new faces, they need a program everytime they attend a game, or they won't know for whom their rooting.

HawkKlaw 7 years, 11 months ago

I see a lot of posts about how loaded with talent this Kentucky team was. There's no denying that they were loaded. Maybe the best of the past decade.

Maybe. I would say that we have short-term memories around here though. In 2008, we had the best KU team ever (on paper) and definitely one of the best teams of the past decade. We had 6 players from that team go to the NBA, and 2 others went overseas to play professionally. We went 37-3, the best record of any NCAA Champ until last night. Let's not forget that KU is sometimes as loaded with talent as Kentucky was last night. The difference between Self's teams and Cal's is that Self gets talented players who stick around long enough to get meaningful experience and build team chemistry, while Cal usually gets talented players that leave after one or two seasons.

I would still take Self, his staff, his recruits, and his style of basketball over any other coach in the NCAA.

AZHawk72 7 years, 11 months ago

Good calll on next year's roster, texashawk. Here's how I see it:

  1. Johnson 1. Tharpe
  2. McLemore 2. Adams
  3. Releford 3. White
  4. Ellis 4. Young Traylor
  5. Withey 5. Lucas Peters

Thoughts. Why Johnson at the point--because Tharpe isn't ready. When I see Taylor's pass in the last ten seconds that landed at our bench against Ohio-State, I see Tharpe. Nice arching three shot, but not ready for prime time point yet. Why not start Young--because the energizer bunny fouls too much, and we need him off the bench for both Withey and Ellis. Most underrated recruits--Lucas and Adams. The papers in the northwest wonder how Kansas knew they were any good before they had bloomed this year. I'm betting that both make someone's rankings later this month.

I'm calling next year "Fun With Freshmen Not Recruited By Kentucky 101." It should be entertaining and more unpredictable than most of my classes for five years on the Hill.

kellerman411 7 years, 11 months ago

As for the notion that KU got to the championship with nobodies:

Jeff Whithey: ESPNU 100 rated 96/100 Elija Johnson: ESPNU 100 rated 95/100 Travis Releford: ESPNU 100 rated 95/100 Thomas Robinson: ESPNU 100 rated 93/100 Tyshawn Taylor: ESPNU 100 rated 92/100

Let's stop acting like we went to the title game with a bunch of misfits. Our first 5 were all VERY highly recruited players and they were all juniors and above. We got to the championship because Bill Self and the rest of the assistants put the work in on the recruiting trail as well as on the practice court.

Jason Wilson 7 years, 11 months ago

Overall ESPN Ranking for their HS senior year

Withey #43 Johnson #28 Releford #62 Robinson #40 Taylor #86 Young #500+ Teahan #500+

Davis #1 Kidd-Gilchrist #4 Teague #8 Jones #9 Lamb #29 Miller #33 Wiltjer #19

Jason Wilson 7 years, 11 months ago

My only issue with Kentucky's recruiting style is that the OAD players are not student-athletes. The APR rules ignore players that drop out of college to play for professional sports teams - why? This makes no sense to me.

When a player drops out of college, it should count as a drop-out regardless of the reason. For some players, this is still the right decision because of family circumstances (T-Rob). For the vast majority of players who leave early for the NBA draft, they were never serious about being students, they were just using college basketball to get the exposure that would allow them to be drafted.

This would prevent teams from being able to stock up on OAD players. It would encourage teams to recruit players that would stay in school - players that are actually student-athletes, not athletes using a college to get television-time so scouts would start watching them play.

It would mean a school could have an occasional OAD player, and having a player leave after a junior year wouldn't be a huge deal, but multiple freshman/sophomore leaving for professional sports would mean a school is going to start being penalized.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 11 months ago

But isn't college main reason to launch you into a steady career?

Jason Wilson 7 years, 11 months ago

The main reason to go to college is to get a high-quality education, not to launch someone into a steady career.

The main reason to go to a technical school is to launch yourself into a steady career.

Regardless, the NBA is not a steady career.
The average player lasts 4.7 years in the NBA.
60% of NBA players declare bankruptcy within 5 years of the end of their career.

And if the NCAA is saying "its ok to drop out of college if you can make X amount of dollars in the next 4 years", who are they to draw the line? Is it $2 million? $8 million? If Jeff Withey gets offered a contract to star in a boy band for $1 million, does that mean he didn't drop out of college? What about $500,000? Where do you draw the line?

The answer: You shouldn't draw a line. Leaving college before you finish is dropping out. Teams should be encouraged to graduate players, and the NCAA should penalize teams who don't care about graduating their players.

FLJHK 7 years, 11 months ago

So, if last October, player for player, we could have traded rosters with Kentucky and last night culminated in a win for KU, would we be happier today? The Kentucky players seem to be good guys, and we would have had a fun time watching them grow as a team, but would we truly be happier? I'm not saying there is anything wrong or illegal about their program, but Is that the kind of program we want at Kansas? I hope and think not.

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

FLJHK - that's a very good point. We have a different type of program and one that I'm very proud of. I haven't researched it, but I'll bet we have as many (or more) players who stay 3 or more years than any other big time program in the country.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Paul Pierce one of our very first players who left early for the NBA?

I love our team, and the fact that our players stay longer than most others speaks volumes for our coaches, our fans and for Lawrence in general. It's a great place to play and a great place to go to school and live.

Give me a team like this year's any time over a bunch of one and done's - no matter how talented they may be..

FLJHK 7 years, 11 months ago

On the other hand, we probably recruited most of the Kentucky players, and most of us fans would have been happy to get them. At what point does getting a bunch of the top tier recruits change the nature of your program? I think it's a fine line.

I HATE the OAD rule but it doesn't look like it's changing anytime soon..

texashawk10 7 years, 11 months ago

Wilt Chamberlain left KU after his junior season, but he went and played a year with the Harlem Globetrotters first.

Brian Powell 7 years, 11 months ago

Great season, great run. No, I don't want all the NBA rookies that UK gets -- we almost beat them straight up!

Already looking to next year!

let me see if I got this right at all:

Withey (senior) EJ (senior) Travis (senior) BMac (Fresh/Soph) Perry Ellis or Jamari Traylor (fresh.)

bench: Tharpe (soph) Kevin Young (Jr.?) Justin Wesley (senior) Lucas, etc.

we'll be rockin by next March

Alohahawk 7 years, 11 months ago

You forgot White - SG/SF, who (at this point), is KU's second best 2012 recruit (4 star, ranked in the 40's).

Also, Anrio Adams - PG/SG, who has given a verbal, and may be faster end to end than TT (according to the recruiting boards). Adams is expected to move up on Rivals' list. Although, it might depend on if he qualifies. I believe he has transferred from different schools, and jumped from the 2012 class to 2013, and back to 2012, which is why he was originally knocked from the 2012 rankings. He was still highly recruited by a number of the top BCS schools.

Alohahawk 7 years, 11 months ago

You forgot White - SG/SF, who (at this point), is KU's second best 2012 recruit (4 star, ranked in the 40's).

Also, Anrio Adams - PG/SG, who has given a verbal, and may be faster end to end than TT (according to the recruiting boards). Adams is expected to move up on Rivals' list. Although, it might depend on if he qualifies. I believe he has transferred from different schools, and jumped from the 2012 class to 2013, and back to 2012, which is why he was originally knocked from the 2012 rankings. He was still highly recruited by a number of the top BCS schools.

Alohahawk 7 years, 11 months ago

You forgot White - SG/SF, who (at this point), is KU's second best 2012 recruit (4 star, ranked in the 40's).

Also, Anrio Adams - PG/SG, who has given a verbal, and may be faster end to end than TT (according to the recruiting boards). Adams is expected to move up on Rivals' list. Although, it might depend on if he qualifies. I believe he has transferred from different schools, and jumped from the 2012 class to 2013, and back to 2012, which is why he was originally knocked from the 2012 rankings. He was still highly recruited by a number of the top BCS schools.

Alohahawk 7 years, 11 months ago

You forgot White - SG/SF, who (at this point), is KU's second best 2012 recruit (4 star, ranked in the 40's).

Also, Anrio Adams - PG/SG, who has given a verbal, and may be faster end to end than TT (according to the recruiting boards). Adams is expected to move up on Rivals' list. Although, it might depend on if he qualifies. I believe he has transferred from different schools, and jumped from the 2012 class to 2013, and back to 2012, which is why he was originally knocked from the 2012 rankings. He was still highly recruited by a number of the top BCS schools.

Kristen Downing 7 years, 11 months ago

I'll take our team with a couple of guys from the area and a second place finish over Kentucky's roster with no one from their state any time, every time. Face it, they wanted a championship, no matter what it "cost" and they got it. Soon enough, when they see the list of players going pro, it will leave the fans with a lump in their throat and a few burning couches. Nothing beats getting attached to players for more than just a championship.

KansasComet 7 years, 11 months ago

For the past 23 years KU has been in the NCAA Tournament. That means for the past 23 years we had a chance to win it all. No other College Basketball Team can say that. We have gone to Final Fours in 1991, 1993, 2002, 2003, 2008, and 2012. We have played in four Championship Games in that time frame. This does not even take into account winning it all in 1988. We lost a basketball game last night. It does not feel good, but it is time to focus on next year. I, for one am going to remember this year for all of our accomplishments and not for failures. Just like I remember the past 23 years that KU has been the only team in all of College Basketball that has had a chance to win it all. People are always talking about VCU, Bucknell, Bradley, and UNI...so what. How about saying that teams like UK, Duke, UNC, UCLA, Ohio State, Michigan State, Arizona and Syracuse have not had the run of success that Kansas has enjoyed over the past 23 years. At one point during this timeframe all of those teams did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament. When I think of Kansas, I think of a model of consistency. On this day, I am more proud than ever to be a Jayhawk. I look forward to next season, when we will again assemble some of the best Student Athletes to represent our university in the game of basketball. All others can never have what we have and that is a court that proudly displays the inventor of the game of basketball on it. I love what this team is about and I can't wait to start talking about next season.

Kristen Downing 7 years, 11 months ago

Here is what you are working against when you try to recruit against Calipari.

http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/john_canzano/index.ssf/2012/04/worldwide_wes_was_behind_the_k_1.html

Doubt the NCAA wants to touch Worldwide Wes, as he helps the NBA work their college minor league program, aka NCAA. Look at Stern's comments about the 19 year old requirement. He has no motivation to change it as it helps the NBA scout potential without any cost.....

Aaron Rosenthal 7 years, 11 months ago

What a beautiful basketball team the 2011-2012 Kansas Jayhawks are. Everything any coach, teammate or parent could ever hope to see. I've probably watched 85-90% of KU's games in the last 25 years. I think this team provided 4-5 of the 10 most thrilling KU games I've witnessed.

And it wasn't necessarily any particular play so much as it was their approach. These young men know who they are and believed their style would lead to victory.

When something in your life matters all you really do is give what you know inside is your best effort and best intentions. Then you live with the results. This team gave everything they had for 39 games and lord knows how many hours of practice. That is rare even at KU. That is the heart of a champion. I wouldn't trade them for anything.

I learned things about competition and dedication and belief from these kids. I can't thank them enough for this season.

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

Well folks.....it's been a great year. Thanks to all of you on this board.....great talking to you during the whole season!

Just think.......about 6 short months from now we will fire up another year of KU Basketball!!! And from what I can see.......we are going to be very good(again).

I hope everyone will still post here on occasion until then.

Have a great spring and summer.....

Craig Colgin 7 years, 11 months ago

As I sit and reflect on the season, and how special this team has been, I find myself in gentle tears. Taylor, Robinson, Conner, Jordan are gone. Ill never watch them play another game in a Kansas jersey. Did this team not make us all fall in love with them? Im gonna very sincerely miss these kids. Thank you all so much for the great memories, and for a hell of a season. I wish you all the best of luck in whatever you do. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

I agree and good comment. Yes....that's the saddest part-that we will not see these great kids play for Kansas again. I think that's more the reason you saw those guys so sad last night. Amazing.....how fast time flies by. When you're a freshman.....you think you have all the time in the world.

Well......remember they will always be part of Kansas basketball......and they will always be welcomed back in any capacity.

prusso25 7 years, 11 months ago

You guys are a classy group of posters. I'm glad I am not the only one extremely proud of this team. At the beginning of the season when Bmac and Jam were ruled out for the season, I thought that an elite eight would be the limit. I never would've dreamed we would play a team of NBA talent and give them a run for their in the championship game. If Coach Cal won every championship for the next decade, I would still rather have Self as our coach. He is an absolute class act and it rubs off on our guys. Cal turns spoiled brats into millionaires, Self turns boys into men that represent our organization well. Great season!

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

Sir....I have not had the pleasure of chatting with you......but your comments are excellent. Especially that last part......"Self turns boys into me..." So true.

Self is all about tough-love I think. I will never forget last year after VCU won....he had no anger.no harsh words,no remorse.......I remember him going over to hug Tyrell Reed who was distraught.....that's all he cared about at that moment in time.....just wanted to console "his kids".

prusso25 7 years, 11 months ago

Tough love a great way to put it. When the entire world wanted to give Thomas a hug and spoil him, Self got on him even more because he knew that it would be the best thing for Thomas in the long run. Now Thomas is more mature, a top 5 draft pick, and will have his jersey hung in the rafters. Could that have happened if Self went easy on him? I doubt it.

Kelly Knott 7 years, 11 months ago

Love, Love, Love this team!! What a great band of brothers. When so many said they probably wouldn't, these guys proved over and over and over again that together they could. What heart!!

Thanks boys, for one hell of a ride!! Just 9-points shy of attaining the gold ring. So many "Shining Moments" throughout the season. You guys represented Jayhawk nation with great class and style.

To all our boys who have donned their KANSAS jersey for the last time,,, Thanks for the great memories, it's been a season to remember. You will be missed, but never ever forgotten. Rock Chalk Jayhawks, Forever KU.

trobpoy 7 years, 11 months ago

Even though we werent expected to be in the championship, we knew we could do it. And that was my favorite part of this team. These group of guys will be remembered for ever. This one was definently hard to swallow. But at the end we knew what we had accomplished. WIth ty and trob most likely leaving. Its equally as tough to see conner and jorden leave. Although jorden did not play very often, his presense on the bench was huge. You could always count on him cheering on the guys. No doubt Bill Self will have this team ready to compete for anothe championship. Rock Chalk !!

TJWhatley 7 years, 11 months ago

Starting 5:

Elijah Johnson McLemore Releford Perry Ellis Withey

Reserves:

Naadir White Traylor Zach Peters (3 minutes per game)

Martin Rosenblum 7 years, 11 months ago

Leap year didn't prove to be our year as predicted, this time. Personally, I think we have a more probable shot with next years team through the efforts of Bill Self. He is going to have a stronger, more physical lineup next year. We will be taller, more able to match up with any type offense and will have a good mix of players from seniors down to the exciting freshmen. The comeback games and buzzer-beaters that we have become used to will not go away. But, I feel like we will be more dominant and effective at all positions which should lead to even more balance in scoring. How exciting to look forward to our returning veterans teaming up with the red-shirts and the newbies who will make HCBS's job less stressful and more fun.

7 months till Late Night!

Sam Constance 7 years, 11 months ago

Man. Now that I've finally had a full day to reflect on last night, the season and moving forward, I've decided that the single most disappointing thing to me is the fact that we won't get to see this group of warriors play together ever again.

Obviously, the two most emotionally-jarring losses are Taylor and Robinson.

Tyshawn, who always seemed to me like he cared too much. His sometimes erratic, sometimes masterful play always struck me as a guy who wanted to win--for KU, for the fans, for Coach Self, for his mom and sisters, and for himself--so badly that he world over-try and force things from time to time. If you ever listen at length to his interviews, the more negative aspects of his career at KU seem so completely out of place. He's an incredibly thoughtful and perceptive guy, and you can tell that he really loves KU and it's fans. For him, the "FOE" tag couldn't be any realer.

Thomas, who played with his emotions plastered on his face and seeping out his every pore. All that determination, willpower, toughness, hurt and pain funneling into a season for the ages. If I had to come up with a word to describe his play, it would be simply "WANT". Because everything he does and accomplishes comes because of his sheer desire to achieve. I knew he was going to be a very good player for Kansas when he arrived with EJ out of high school. I didn't know he was going to turn into a special player, with a legitimate claim to be the best player in college basketball this year.

(to be continued...)

Sam Constance 7 years, 11 months ago

(...continued)

[SIDEBAR: Not to take anything away from Anthony Davis, who was great, but I would give anything to see how he would perform on a team where opposing defenses would be able to double and triple team him on a regular basis. I think part of his ability to grow the way he did was because Kentucky's loaded roster took off a great deal of pressure for him to carry their team. There is no doubt in my mind that if you trade just Robinson and Davis, that Kansas does not win the Big 12 again. Does not get a 2-seed in the tourney, and does not reach the final game of the entire season.]

But I digress.

Beyond the "big two", Kansas got inspired basketball from every single one of the main seven guys who played this year.

Withey was huge, both literally and figuratively. I suspected that he would turn into a solid interior player, much like the very raw Darnell Jackson and Sasha Kaun turned into solid roleplayers. I had no idea that Withey's breakout party would be a Block Party! His presence and ability to stay so aggressive on defense without getting into a lot of foul trouble was just short of amazing. It's ironic--when he was in foul trouble, it usually came because of some idiotic moving screen out on the perimeter, not his defensive clashes in the paint.

(to be continued...)

Sam Constance 7 years, 11 months ago

(...continued)

Johnson, like Taylor, is such a thoughtful and caring guy. The fact that he will be the steadying force on next year's team makes the sting of losing TT and TR a little less keen. I was listening to one of his post-game comments today on the radio and he talked about one of the first things he would have to do as a leader next year was get his teammates to love each other and buy into what they were doing. It's no wonder these guys were so tough down the stretch when you think of them having that kind of deep bond. He too had some huge games, and was steady throughout the tournament. Like TR, TT, and JW, we don't get to the title game without EJ.

Releford. The Kansas City product came up big with all the hustle plays that are easy to forget amongst spectacular blocks, bombs from Taylor and Johnson and crazy rim-rattling dunks and rebounds from Robinson. But I will remember him from this season for two distinct plays: 1) The still-feeling-static-electricity-the-ball-is-so-close-to-his-hand-when-the-buzzer-sounded layup that allowed KU to go into the OSU half down single-digits. 2) The will-not-quit-on-anything-until-the-clock-reads-zero steal, track-down and layup that helped KU keep OSU at bay to weather a terrible traveling call in the final minute. He will be key in making the newbies understand how to play don't-quit basketball.

(to be concluded...)

Sam Constance 7 years, 11 months ago

(...concluded)

And of course, Young and Teahan. Clearly, neither was quite as key over the long haul of the season as the starting five, but both delivered huge performances when they were sorely needed. Teahan having possibly his best shooting game of the season in a 19-point comeback win against Missouri in a way only a Kansas kid is capable of. He didn't do a whole lot the rest of the season, but without him, KU earns one of the more depressing losses in it's history, let alone the implications for this season. Young struggled through a terrible tournament offensively (4-18 overall), but played hard and came up with some key blocks and rebounds in some of KU's most hard fought games (Purdue, NC State, OSU). Not to mention his explosion against OSU in the first matchup.

It's sad to see such an amazing season come to an end, and I will be shocked if any of the next 10 seasons beat this one in terms of enjoyment. We could win the title next year, and I will not end the year feeling as fulfilled and proud as this team has made me feel. It sounds cheesy, but the Family Over Everything saying is contagious. Kansas is family, and these guys made us their 'fan parents' and drew us in like it was our very own children out on the floor pouring out their blood, sweat and emotions for us.

Thank you Jayhawks. Thank you for letting me share in this wild ride and for showing me what the human spirit is capable of if you simply try hard enough.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

theend 7 years, 11 months ago

Excellent post, Marchphog. Well done!

FLJHK 7 years, 11 months ago

Very thoughtful post Marchphog. Like you, I'm having trouble letting this season go. It was just an amazing pleasure. But among the great things about being a Jayhawk, is knowing the future is always bright.

Hank Cross 7 years, 11 months ago

Sometimes the best stories don't have happy endings.

okiedave 7 years, 11 months ago

In January, I would have been thrilled just for the Hawks to be a co-champion in the Big XII. What this tearm has accomplished is simply beyond the envelop. If heart and performance beyond expectations were the measure of the national championship, you would have the trophy hands down.

You have set the bar for an awsome 2012-13 season.

Orangedog87 7 years, 11 months ago

Today is kind of a downer not becuase of the game last night but that I will not get to see this team play again and I have to wait 7 months to see KUBB again.....thanks for the wonderful 5 months of so much fun

Thanks for all the fun KUBB players

RCJHKU

JayHok 7 years, 11 months ago

Final 2012 AP poll--- KU #2

                    MU #11

Preseason 2012 Jack Harry big 12 Poll --KU 5th

               ---MU 1st

What a season, what a bunch of tough kids with heart playing for Self this year --- it might be added that our partial qualifiers were forced to sit out by the Big 12 guidelines. They would have been eligible to play for Calipari, which makes me wonder how many partial qualifiers he has playing for him on a yearly basis.

Kelly Knott 7 years, 11 months ago

I didn't know there were varied Conference guidelines regarding the eligibility of "Partial Qualifiers". I thought the guidelines for "Partial Qualifiers" are governed by the NCAA and are Division specific, not Division/Conference specific??

Are you saying the SEC has different guidelines from the Big 12 regarding the eligibility of "Partial Qualifiers"? If this is true, maybe the real motivation for MethU jumping to the SEC.

Chuck Baldwin 7 years, 11 months ago

WHY IS THERE AN ADVERTISEMENT ON KUSPORTS.COM FOR UK CHAMPIONSHIP GEAR? CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TAKE THE AD OFF THIS SITE. VERY MORONIC AND LIKE POURING SALT IN OUR WOUNDS. WAY TO GO SALES DEPT!!!

dtdjayhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

I am extremely proud to be a Kansas Jayhawk. I will miss this team but will forever have great memories from a remarkable year.

To the entire coaching staff and to all our beloved players ...Thank you for the ride it was magical.

ROCK CHALK !

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