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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

KU fans welcome home basketball team after run at championship

Thomas Robinson gives a short speech to more than 5,000 loyal Jayhawk fans who came to Allen Fieldhouse to welcome the team back from the NCAA tournament in New Orleans on Tuesday, April 3, 2012.

Thomas Robinson gives a short speech to more than 5,000 loyal Jayhawk fans who came to Allen Fieldhouse to welcome the team back from the NCAA tournament in New Orleans on Tuesday, April 3, 2012.

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They may not have returned as champions, but at least they got a hero’s welcome.

More than 5,000 Jayhawk fans turned up Tuesday night to Allen Fieldhouse for the return of the men’s basketball team from New Orleans, which by all accounts had a stellar season despite its 67-59 loss to powerhouse Kentucky in the national championship game on Monday.

Many people talked about celebrating the better-than-expected season, including coach Bill Self.

“How many people could have predicted the accomplishments of this team?” he asked to a standing, cheering crowd.

And junior forward Thomas Robinson said he spoke for everyone in saying, “I’m proud of this season.”

But the celebration was bittersweet, Self said, because the end of the season meant the end to a team that’s come together — and one fans and coaches alike have come to be attached to.

“These guys lasted to the very, very end,” Self said. “They may have come up a little short; personally, I think we just ran out of time.”

Senior point guard Tyshawn Taylor praised the fans’ role in the season’s success.

“We would be half as good without you guys,” he said.

Senior guard Conner Teahan spoke about the team’s tenacity through upset wins and a final, hard loss.

“We never quit; we kept fighting,” he told the crowd. “We didn’t want to let you guys down.”

Teahan’s uncle and cousin were among the fans and echoed the pride expressed by others.

“Conner told us, ‘we’re gonna be great,’” said Mike Teahan, of Overland Park, about this year’s team. “As a fan, it was a stressful season at times, but really, the team did great this year.”

Fans like Lawrence resident Cassie Stone are already looking forward to next season.

“It’ll be an even better team next year, and we’ll go all the way,” she said.

Others are taking in this season’s highlights and getting excited for Kansas basketball’s return, win or lose.

“This season didn’t end on a low note for me — there were a couple of bad plays, but I’m really happy,” Lawrence resident Terry Gretencourd said. “And now I’m already ready for Late Night practice.”

Comments

Dan Pawlowski 8 years, 9 months ago

I said it before and it bears repeating. This team was the best college team on the court monday night.

Dan Pawlowski 8 years, 9 months ago

“That team (Kentucky) has six first-round draft picks, three lottery picks. ...." Which would not be a big deal if they were not a bunch of one and dones ...so no they are not really a college team.

Alohahawk 8 years, 9 months ago

To every KU player, to every coach and to the entire supporting staff, congratulations and mahalo for a tremendous and highly enjoyable season. I'm sure the entire Jayhawk Nation will agree, you're all winners. It may have been a sad ending, but just remember: One loss does not a season make. It's the joy and excitement of this entire season which will make it so memorable, forever.

JHawk06 8 years, 9 months ago

+10000

Great Job Hawks!

Really proud of this team and the coaching staff

Mike Skiles 8 years, 9 months ago

Way to go Hawks! Sorry to see many leave campus now, but am also excited looking forward to midnight next year. Wow, how lucky we Jayhawk fans are to be connected to KU and the incredible history, fan support, fantastic venue, and best coach in America!

FSUJHAWK 8 years, 9 months ago

What an improbable season! Kudos to this team. Everyone in America has to tip their hat to these young men and the coaching staff.

Best of luck to all the departing seniors, Mr. Robinson, Coach Hinson and Coach Manning. You all will be missed but never forgotten. Heros in my book.

To the returning crew and necomers, let's wind it up and go at it again next season!

RCJHGKU!!!

master16 8 years, 9 months ago

One of my favorite teams ever. The toughest team I've seen in a long time. Going through all the events that occurred in TRob's life, you could tell how close knit a group this was.

There is absolutely no shame in losing to an elite caliber team like Kentucky, especially the way they fought back into it. There just simply wasn't enough time left on the clock.

So proud of this team.

Woody Cragg 8 years, 9 months ago

Just as I predicted before the season began, this really was Bill's greatest coaching job ever since ORU. Little did we know this was likely the geatest group of young men to ever put on a uniform for him. The only loss this entire season that I was angry after was the L in Columbia, & then only because it was misery. Everyone I know is proud as hell to have this team represent the University of Kansas. I kinda get attached to these kids sometimes & losing Thomas, Tyshawn, Conner & 2 coaches makes the ending bittersweet, but this team has been really fun & gratifying to see mature into young men ready now to begin a meaningful jouney through life. At least we have several pieces in place for another BG12 Ch & NCAA Ch in 2012-13. And we know those that are leaving will always & forever be part of the family & always welcome to return & re-assume their rightful place in our hallowed history. Rock on men, goodluck in all your endeavors & Godspeed to you all.

Andy Godwin 8 years, 9 months ago

Would have been nice to also publicly acknowledge the efforts of Danny Manning. Last time he will be wearing the crimson and blue. Congratulations to the players and coaches on a surprising and exciting run that came up a bit short.

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 9 months ago

Just guessing, I'd think they might have suggested something for Danny and he turned it down because he didn't want to detract from the team. Remember 2008 when he was elected to the Kansas Basketball Hall of Fame that same day? He didn't want anyone to know because he thought the players should get all the attention. Wow, I'm really going to miss seeing him on the bench.

gchawk 8 years, 9 months ago

Can't wait for the movie to come out: "The Never Say Die Jayhawks". This team, along with the entire coaching staff, just made a proud Jayhawk Nation even more proud to be a Jayhawk. Thanks for an amazing season.

kranny 8 years, 9 months ago

The legacy that I hope this team leaves is that despite how many 2,3,4, or 5 star players you have on a team, if you play lock-down defense, listen to coach, and never believe you're out of a game, you CAN win championships. That's why I'll never worry if Self doesn't bring in 4-5 McDonald's kids. Coach gets them to buy in, work hard and win championships. What a season! What a year! Good luck to Teahan, Taylor, and Robinson.

Steve Reigle 8 years, 9 months ago

Let us down? No way. This team is a winner. I really felt like we were going to win this game. As Coach said, we just ran out of time. We just needed a little more time and we would have had the game. That comeback, so close to a win, should allow us all to hold our heads up high. This has been a very enjoyable season.

KPOP 8 years, 9 months ago

With a few breaks that National Championship game may have had a different outcome. KU put themselves into a position to win that game if they coulda woulda shoulda ...... Oh well, the outcome doesn't detract from a remarkable seasonal long journey. I mean how much fun is it to get together with dozens of friends and watch all the tournament games, everybody has their own superstitions, i.e. same shirt, same pants same beer , same hot wings etc. We gathered on a friends patio, moved his 65" TV outside , put up our KU Canopy tent and watched every tournament game from the same location. Big Fun. Lots of beer, pizza, wings, hamburgers, brats and chips and salsa were consumed.
Can't wait until we do it again next year.

Alohahawk 8 years, 9 months ago

Sounds like Christmas family get-togethers, except in March and April. Bet you all gained a few pounds, unless you sweated them off worrying over those late runs. :>)

Joe Joseph 8 years, 9 months ago

This season exemplifies the unfortunate weight placed on tournament success to define a season. If this team loses in the 2nd round (as it nearly did and perhaps should have) then very few people are singing the praises of this team. Instead of being remembered as a team that overcame adversity and never gave up, it would have simply been remembered by most fans and media as just another Kansas team that choked in the end. It's what makes fans love the NCAA tournament and hate it at the same time. Normally, I end up hating it. This season, for only the second time in 10+ years, I really, really enjoyed it. Never have I been less disappointed after a season-ending loss.

Stan Unruh 8 years, 9 months ago

Has anyone considered how KU will bring Danny back to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the '88 title team next season? He will be busy in Tulsa....maybe Bill can schedule them?

misfire 8 years, 9 months ago

I have been a Jayhawk fan since 1956 and I cannot remember a season I have enjoyed more than this one. I love you guys.

Jim Pendleton 8 years, 9 months ago

This season was great. So many great memories. We will remember this group for a long time. Was there last night and crowd was great. Actually thought there would be a lot more people there. Should have been for this group. Looking forward to next season, and to football this fall! Rock Chalk!!

mikehawk 8 years, 9 months ago

Well, I don't live in or near Lawrence, so I couldn't be there. I wish there were 16,300 in the Fieldhouse to greet these guys, but I guess 5K isn't bad. They are and always will be a special team, one to referenced for many years to come as one of the favorite, thrill producing, all time squads that didn't win a championship. All of the other final game loses to Duke and Syracuse left me with that empty, we should have won, disappointed feeling. This group, I would have loved it if they had won, but I couldn't be prouder of a bunch that will be remembered for many reasons for a very long time. What a group that has set a standard and legacy for which all future teams will compared not in terms of wins and losses, or championships, but in terms of effort and heart. They were special.

Kusportsshould Notrequirethis 8 years, 9 months ago

They were indeed special!

My favorite part of KU Basketball is watching players improve and develop. When this season started I had NO idea how fun this team was going to be.

Thank you players, coaches and staff for the wonderful season!

Rock Chalk!!

Scott MacWilliams 8 years, 9 months ago

Way to go, Jayhawks!!! What a great game, even if we ended up a little short. I am SO proud of what this team accomplished, and have been telling all my friends so here in Oregon.
Thomas, Tyshawn and Conner, best of luck in all your future endeavors. You will be greatly missed. As always, we will always think of you as our Jayhawks, no matter where you are or what you do. Thanks also to the coaches, staff and teammates for all your great work, it was the very best of all seasons, just amazing!!!

R O C K C H A L K, J A Y H A W K. G O K U !!!!!

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 9 months ago

The 2011-12 Kansas Basketball team goes down as the gutsiest team I've ever seen play the game, relentless effort, thanks for a great season.

rh39437 8 years, 9 months ago

WOW OUR SEASON JUST ENDED ON MONDAY NITE....WHAT A HELL OF A RIDE IT WAS....OUR SEASON COULD HAVE ENDED IN OMAHA.BUT OUR JAYHAWKS KEPT ON FIGHTING AND DANCING ALL THE WAY TO NEW ORLEANS I FOR ONE REALLY,REALLY ENJOYED THE RIDE GETTIN THERE IT WAS MEMORABLE!!! SURE THEY DIDNT WIN BUT SO WHAT.NO COLLEGE TEAM WAS GONNA BEAT KENTUCKY THAT NITE THEY WERE A NBA TEAM ON THE COURT.AND IF IT TAKES A ALL-STAR TEAM TO BEAT THESE JAYHAWKS.THEN WHAT DOES THAT SAY.....THESE JAYHAWKS WERE THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY WHO COULD BEAT THIS TEAM AND ALMOST TRIUMPHD!! IM NOT GONNA FORGET THIS SEASON NEVER I ENJOYED THIS TOURNEY MORE THEN 2008 CHAMPIONSHIP.PROBABLY ITS BECAUSE ITS YOU ENJOY THE UNEXPECTED. I REALLY ENJOYED WATCHING THESE JAYHAWKS...THANKS FOR THE RIDE BILL...ITS A SEASON IM NEVER GONNA FORGET.SEASONS ENDING IN LATE MARCH I COULD GET USED TO THAT.....SEE YOU IN ATLANTA 2013!!!

kuqueen 8 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for giving us an amazing ride! It was my favorite season, also! And the tournament was beyond thrilling (although we all probably went through tons of antacids during the run to the final game!!). So proud of our team, so proud to be a Jayhawk!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bryan Swan 8 years, 9 months ago

What an amazing season! Allen Fieldhouse was electric Monday night...

Thank you for our 14th Final Four!

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