Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Family follows KU forward Kevin Young to town

Kansas University forward Kevin Young, right, poses for a family portrait with younger brother Donovan Young and mother Alicia Morales after Tuesday's game against Richmond at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas University forward Kevin Young, right, poses for a family portrait with younger brother Donovan Young and mother Alicia Morales after Tuesday's game against Richmond at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kevin Young’s energy and hustle, ability to push the basketball and score around the rim, have made him a fan favorite in this, his senior year, at Kansas University.

One other thing, too ...

“The fans just love his afro,” said one of Young’s biggest supporters — younger brother, Donovan, who, along with the siblings’ mom, Alicia, watched Kevin score eight points and grab nine rebounds in KU’s 87-59 rout of Richmond on Tuesday night in Allen Fieldhouse.


Donovan Young, right, watches as his older brother, KU forward Kevin Young signs an autograph for Trentyn Harris of Frontenac, Kan., after Tuesday's game against Richmond at Allen Fieldhouse.

Donovan and mom have been in town since Saturday — they saw Kevin score eight points and grab six boards in a 89-60 battering of Belmont — and will remain indefinitely. They’ve decided to move from Perris, Calif., to Lawrence for second semester of Kevin’s final KU campaign.

“He loves KU. He loves all of his fans who love him here at KU,” added Donovan, 15, who will attend Free State High School as a freshman after starting out at Kevin’s alma mater, Perris High.

It was easy to spot Donovan Young outside the northwest tunnel, just past a pack of autograph seekers who sought signatures a full hour after Tuesday’s rout. The length and width of Donovan’s afro rival his big brother’s.

“For him, it’s more competition. He tries to get his bigger than mine,” Kevin Young said of afro expansion.

“We’ve done this before, when I was at Loyola (Marymount, 2008-09, 09-10 seasons). I had an afro and he tried to grow one, too. I think we do it (compete) every time one of us decides to grow our hair out,” Kevin added.

Donovan Young, who hopes to play both baseball and basketball during his time in Lawrence, doesn’t admit to any family competition.

“Actually when I was little, I wore my hair (like this). We’d cut it once in a while. I’d let it grow sometimes. When it’s hot outside, I cut it,” Donovan said.

Of his brother’s hair, he commented: “It’s pretty big, pretty big.”

Kevin is pleased his mom and brother have joined him in Lawrence. Sister Jasmine, is a sophomore basketball player at San Bernardino (Calif.) Valley College.

“It takes a lot of pressure off me. They are a lot closer to me right now; I just love it,” Kevin Young said. “It’s for them to be closer to me, get them out of California and getting the focus on school a little more (for Donovan).

“It’s good so far. I haven’t heard my mom in the crowd yet. I’m pretty sure she is going to start yelling sooner or later,” Kevin added, smiling.

Of the move, mom Alicia Morales said: “We are here to watch him play and support him. I’m so proud of my son. He is really a good role model for the young one (Donovan). The fans are awesome here. The people are awesome in Lawrence,” Alicia added.

Kevin plans on spending as much time as possible with his family members.

“When I was at Loyola, they were at every game. My mom’s been at every game since I was in middle school,” Kevin said.

Of his brother’s sports future, Kevin said: “He’s more a baseball player. He’s played all the positions. I think he likes outfield a lot, being able to make those diving catches and save the games, I guess.

“If it (basketball) is something he wants to do, I’ll support him all the way.”

KU, which is ranked No. 9 in the country, will next meet No. 7 Ohio State, at 3 p.m., Central time, Saturday, in Columbus, Ohio. The Jayhawks went 2-0 versus OSU last season. Young had 14 points and four rebounds in KU’s 78-67 victory on Dec. 10, 2011, in Allen Fieldhouse. OSU’s Jared Sullinger missed the game because of injury. KU won again, 64-62, in a Final Four semifinal on March 31, in New Orleans. Sullinger, who is now in the NBA, scored 13 points off 5-of-19 shooting in that game. Thomas Robinson had 19 points, Travis Releford 15 and Elijah Johnson 13 for KU.

Johnson down to three: Dakari Johnson, a 6-11 senior center from Montverde (Fla.) Academy, has narrowed his college choices to Kentucky, Syracuse and Georgetown, reports. Johnson, who is ranked No. 13 in the Class of 2013, eliminated KU, Florida, Ohio State and Missouri.


Ray March 1 year, 3 months ago

haha! his brother has the same dopey clown haircut.

for some reason, it looks goofier on the younger brother...


Scott MacWilliams 1 year, 3 months ago

I too am so glad that Kevin's mom and little brother have moved here. Why wouldn't you want to watch your son in his last few months of college ball at a great place like AFH??

I know it sure makes Kevin's world a better place. Now he'll have even more to grin about, and you know that can't hurt, unless he sprains his jaw or something...

Welcome, Alicia and Donovan, Jayhawk Nation is always glad for more family members in the stands. You might want to bring some earplugs for some of the Big 12 games, though. It's going to get L O U D ! ! !

Rock Chalk, Jayhawks!!


dynamitehawk 1 year, 4 months ago

Love the Fro.


Glad to see that his Mom can make it happen here in Kansas. This is why the NCAA is a bunch of buttholes. These kids should make some money, because I know the $240 I spent for tix at a recent game should go to them, and the cash money they make on 3rd tier TV rights should let kids from far away provide for family. I don't know the circumstances around TRob's mom, or D Block, but perhaps a support system in the greatest town in America might help folks who come from areas that tend to stuggle. I mean, Tyshawn's mom worked at Dillon's, right? How much did KU athletics make off his contributions last year?

Love this team. Love the Hawks. Always will. But this has to change.


tical523 1 year, 4 months ago

Our team is so much with Kevin, on or off the court his attitude is just contagious. I have loved this kid since day one.


GrammarPolice 1 year, 4 months ago

Kevin Young doesn't try hard enough.


FarSideHawk 1 year, 4 months ago

Jabari Parker to Duke!

Don't we play Duke next year in the Champions Classic? That should be a fun game!


Jack Jones 1 year, 4 months ago

And, I too, welcome Kevin's mom and brother, Donovan to Lawrence and KU-ingdom. As Jayhawk basketball fans, we have been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to become acquainted with, and get to know, so many of our player's families over the years. And what marvelous experiences those have been. We have always taken pride in the quality and character of our players, and in getting to know the families gives us insight into why this is so.


THE_REAL_DEAL_WITH_BILL_MCNEIL 1 year, 4 months ago

So they moved to Lawrence for 3 months? I don't get it.


Konkis Dongington III 1 year, 4 months ago

I'll be interested to see if Self sticks Adub3 in at that 4 against OSU on Saturday. Adub3 has the length (6'11" wingspan) to bother the undersized (6'7") Deshaun Thomas out on the perimeter and it's not like Deshaun is a blow by artist off the bounce. Adub should be able to hang with him. The trick is, when Thomas posts up, can Adub muscle up or can Withey play the help guy on the weak side? I think the answer to that is no, then yes. OSU doesn't run a lot of the high ball screen stuff that so many other teams have used to draw Withey out of the paint. That's not to say they couldn't adjust, but it's not their normal game. Even if they do, this could be prime time to bring back the triangle and 2 as Aaron Craft isn't much of a jump shooter and you can play him a little looser out on the perimeter. Of course, KY could just go nuts and drop 14 points including 2/3 3pt shooting again. I'd be good with that.


Joel Thomas 1 year, 4 months ago

Just curious, how is it families move to be close to basketball players in college? This happens quite often. Just can't imagine most families to have the flexibility.


brooksmd 1 year, 4 months ago

Hmmmm, with mom now providing home cooked meals, me thinks KY will need more Hudy-time. Welcome mom and Donovan.


Tony Bandle 1 year, 4 months ago

How about "Revin' Kevin" because his motor is always has RPM's in the red zone?

Longhorn point guard, Mitch Kabongo, out for the season by NCAA we'll see how Rick Barnes... giggle, giggle....can....snicker, snicker.....tee,!!!!


William Blake 1 year, 4 months ago

I love the fro and I love Kevin's game.

I hope he goes to OSU and "wigs out" on the court, stealing 10 balls by halftime.

Kevin's hustle is catching on this team...

Rock Chalk, Kevin Young!


Steve Yeakel 1 year, 4 months ago

Welcome to Lawrence, Alicia and Donovan, we are so blessed to have Kevin as a Jayhawk.


guithawk 1 year, 4 months ago

Thank you JAYBATE for deciding to stop using that stupid nickname. Stay Classy.


FarSideHawk 1 year, 4 months ago

In other news, Texas (TEXAS!) beat the Tarholes by 18 points!


ccarp 1 year, 4 months ago

Welcome, Alicia! I think Donovan has got a slightly bigger fro. Glad Mr. Young has family near to take his hustle to another gear.


HawksWin 1 year, 4 months ago

Thank JB. That was helpful. Now I have a ? 4 u. You said Matta has been copying Self's game in the last couple years, and he has yet to beat Self. How did he do that? And how is Self going to counter & beat his copycat wuss Matta on Sat? Personally, Matta has never impressed me. And a copycat can do only so much, sooner or later he has to show his own brain cells at work. Much appreciate the analysis!!


Eliott Reeder 1 year, 4 months ago

Hear ye hear ye! Kevin Young's nickname is AFROGLIDE. Same connotations plus a nod to the 'fro, but much more subtle and clever. For those that don't get it, 'Astroglide' is another famous brand of lubricant, similar to KY Gelly... (I didn't make this nickname up, read it on the boards somewhere. It's brilliant!)


jaybate 1 year, 4 months ago

• That does it. If mom's in town, we can't call him Jelly anymore. Dang, I'm gonna miss that nickname.

• Dakiri's only 6-11. This is Footer U.

• Seriously, Dakiri turned down Self and Donovan, two getting better guys, for Cal and Boeheim, two stay the same guys. Translation: Dakiri wanted a comfortable year and then go pro.

• KU matches up with Ohio State well every where but Deshaun Thomas. He's going to be a big challenge to Travis or Kevin. His trey means you go out on him, which means he can get by you. This means Jeff could be seeing a lot of Thomas inside. Playing in Columbus, Jeff will not get the calls. Jeff could see some splinters from fouls and so Jam Tray becomes important off the bench.

• KU matching up well assumes EJ is healthy and guarding well. Naadir is going to discover the next level of defense he needs to rise to when he gets on the floor with OSU's PG.

• Self telegraphed a lot about this year's offensive scheme yesterday, when he said Naadir needed to stop trying to stop drive and shoot pull ups against the giants, and only shoot open look treys; that's the way EJ has been doing it. I said awhile back that EJ was not just injured, but also showing Self a new way to play the point, given this year's talent. With a footer and an active 4 inside, plus these two great attackers on the wings, pg's touching paint to collapse defenses takes away the main strengths of the team--active inside scoring.

• Its taken awhile for Self and Dooley and Doc to figure out an offense for this team. They started trying to play inside out and that didn't work. Touching paint and muscling to collapse the D, when you are skinny is a dead end inside, and our trey shooting is not that great o kick out to either. Stretching didn't happen either.

The brain trust figured it out three games ago. Its counter intuitive. New rule: don't collapse the defense. No more drive it in. No more pick and roll. No more weave to tighten down and look for a drive alley.

• Where ever the ball goes on the perimeter, the other 4 positions are like Lazy Susan rotating clock wise when ball is wing right. Counter clockwise when ball is wing left. Players are kept widely spaced. When conventional high lo sets are run, the spacing is kept exaggerated. Self said it was a poor picking team, so picking is de emphasized and picks are set on arcing cuts. No more straight lines except when cutting for the iron. In short, we are seeing the offense run to prevent the defense from concentrating in order to let our long and skinnies move horizontally to iron, then explode up to it.

New rule: if your guys aren't strong enough to muscle, give them enough space to be swift in.

• In the age of XTReme Muscle this inverts everything.

• The counter is to sag and muddy and hope KU cannot stand outside and live by the trey. OSU will try.


mojayhawk 1 year, 4 months ago

"Afro Expansion". Good one, Gary.


KULA 1 year, 4 months ago

I wonder what Kevin's mom will think of fans calling him "jelly."


David Leathers 1 year, 4 months ago

Forget about Dakari Johnson. The only Johnson we need to worry about now is the prophet, Elijah. Dude is playing amazingly as of late, and I feel like my projection of him being an elite PG is beginning to come true. Although he may no be as good of slasher as TT, he still has a better all-around game.


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