Saturday, March 3, 2012

KU seniors to be honored tonight


There will be a short ceremony honoring Kansas University seniors Jordan Juenemann, Conner Teahan and Tyshawn Taylor and their parents before today’s KU-Texas game in Allen Fieldhouse.

The trio will speak to 16,300 fans after the 8 p.m. contest.

In between, the Jayhawks (25-5, 15-2) hope to take care of business against a Texas “bubble” team (19-11, 9-8) that is not yet considered a lock for the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

“I was just watching something on them the other day. They may need a couple wins to get in,” KU point guard Taylor said of the NCAAs. “They’ll be hungry and ready to play. We have to be ready, too.”

The Longhorns, who have won six of their last eight games, fell to KU, 69-66, on Jan. 21 in Austin. In that game, Texas junior guard J’Covan Brown scored 24 points off 7-of-26 shooting. He hit three of eight threes, seven of seven free throws, dished seven assists and had six rebounds.

“J’Covan always goes nuts against us, so we’ll have to do a good job there,” KU coach Bill Self said.

A preseason All-Big 12 pick, Brown leads the league in scoring (19.6 ppg) and also leads the team in steals (40) and minutes (35.1) and ranks second in assists (3.9). He has cashed 41 percent (193-of-463) of his field-goal tries, including 74 of 194 (.381) from three-point range.

Brown has scored 30-plus points three times, topped the 20-point mark 16 times and reached double figures in 28 of UT’s 30 games.

“I think that he is so good that he is going to get points. You just have to limit his good looks,” Self said. “I think in the first game he got off 26 shots. A lot of those were desperation late, so they don’t really count, but we did a pretty good job on him, and he still got numbers. What we have to do is eliminate transition. They killed us in transition defense in the second half.”

Self is well aware KU and Texas have had some epic battles in recent seasons.

“They could beat us, there is no question. They could easily come in here and rock our world,” Self said. “When you look at Senior Nights around the country, sometimes on Senior Night you can flip it, because some guys are nervous about postgame speeches or you’ve got so much family in town. Certainly they could get us and it would be a nice résumé builder for them.”

This, that: KU leads the all-time series, 19-7. ... KU is 9-1 vs. UT in Lawrence. The Longhorns defeated KU, 74-63, last season in Allen. ... Eight of UT’s 11 losses have come by six points or less (or in overtime). Texas’ three double-figure defeats have come at North Carolina (82-63), at Missouri (84-73) and at Oklahoma State (90-78). ... Five losses have come against AP Top-10 opponents (three in true road games). Seven losses have come against AP Top-25 opponents (four in true road games).

Seniors: Juenemann will make his first start tonight on Senior Night. Teahan started the Long Beach State game earlier this season. “It’s a good thing coach Self does that and that all the seniors get to start,” Taylor said. “I’m sure he (Juenemann) is going to love it, and I’m sure he’s going to take full advantage of however long he’s in there.”


Micky Baker 9 years, 1 month ago

I do believe that Texas will have a bigger defeat than 9 points tonight.

This Kansas team will be remembered for a lot of reasons.

  1. No depth
  2. The improvement of T-Rob, Withey, and Taylor.
  3. And, if they make it to the final four... Kentucky fans think KU is the only team that can give them problems in the tourney.

It is possible but I'm not predicting it.

But if Kansas does make it to the Final Four, another National Championship banner and trophy could be in KU's chest. KU's starting five are as good as any starting five in the country, mainly due to experience. Taylor though, is the best guard in the country since conference play started and T-Rob is big enough and strong enough to give Davis some problems, but if Withey guards Davis, that is a mismatch in Withey's favor, if KU gets there.

fhqwhgads 9 years, 1 month ago

as much as we love the hawks and as much as we dislike kentucky, let's not be delusional. it's clear that withey has developed into a better defender since the first kentucky game, but you have to remember that davis has developed an ability to hit 18 footers. he is not a passing threat, but he does have to be guarded farther out than before, and that's where jeff is most uncomfortable. calling it a mismatch in withey's favor is insane. of course, withey can do a good job guarding him in any given game, but davis is as tall as withey and as athletic as robinson. meanwhile, davis would not have to run around to guard jeff since jeff still doesn't take that open 15 footer at the top of the lane in rhythm.

oh well, if we get to play kentucky, we'd have gotten really far and i would love to see that game again, as nervous as i would be. bill would come up with a great gameplan but it's not like we've improved and they've been stagnant - they have also gotten a lot better

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 1 month ago

Come on fhqhgahds.

A guy can dream can't he.

I said, come on fhqhwmgahds.

Jeeveshawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Davis as athletic as Robinson!? You are a funny man (or woman).

Kye Clark 9 years, 1 month ago

I still think fondly of the '08 senior night. Against Tech, something like a 50 point blowout. Guys like Case & Stewart just absolutely feeling it and balling in the second half! And the great speeches afterwards. Darnell..."this is my home." Chills.

Lost_in_the_Phog 9 years, 1 month ago

Definitely one of my favorites too! All 5 seniors started, and all scored double digits and I think we hung something like 120 on Tech. I seem to remember something else good happening a few weeks later...

Other memorable senior nights: Collison & Hinrich's when Eddie Sutton came over to the KU benck and congratulated them, Jeff Boshee's in 2002 when Roy sent out 6 players to start. And of course, last but not least, Simien, Langford, Lee and Miles on the 50th Anniversary of AFH. Simien went off for something like 25 & 20 and of course the greatest senior speech of all time: "Ya'll better get comfortable, because I've been waiting 22 years for this night".

gardenjay 9 years, 1 month ago

As a fan, the Missouri game kind of peaked everything; how do you beat that one? OSU was a game to watch to determine team focus I thought. But Texas, I think this is the one to worry about overlooking. Yikes!

Alohahawk 9 years, 1 month ago

One game at a time, Hawks. This Texas game could easily make or break earning a #1 seed in the Big Dance. The Duke - N. Carolina winner will probably receive a #1 seed. With Michigan State's recent loss that should drop them to a #2 seed.

It's worth noting: In an article (yesterday) on - their college BB page - Luke Winn writes what Kenstinky is doing to promote Davis for POY. Luke Winn, BTW, is one of those sports writers whose vote will count for National POY.

Winn begins his article stating he just received a poster of Davis, from Kenstinky, with the headline "Player of the Year", not just defensive POY. Seems Cal Lie Pari is pulling out all the stops to promote Davis. Amusing that, at one point in the article, Winn refers to Davis as "Unibrow".

Is KU doing anything similar to promote TRob, or are they allowing the more realistic way, his game stats, to show why he deserves the award?

Winn says he's still favoring TRob, mentioning most of the reasons the fans on this board have been stating all along (Double/triple teams, KU would miss TRob more than UK would miss Davis, Etc.), but he has not made a final decision who he will vote for.

Alohahawk 9 years, 1 month ago

The article is under Winn's "Power Rankins" header.

lincase 9 years, 1 month ago

Entirely off subject, but I thought you would enjoy the following: A little boy wearing a KU t-shirt walks into his kindergarten class. His teacher asks him why he is wearing a KU shirt.
The little boy says, "I am wearing this t-shirt because I am a KU fan." Teacher: "Why are you a KU fan?" Little boy: "I am a KU fan because both my parents went to KU and they are KU fans." Teacher: "What if your parents ran a meth lab?" Little boy: "Then I'd be a Missouri fan."

Good luck seniors--RCJH!

jaybate 9 years, 1 month ago

"Grind It Out or Cut the Head Off and the Body Dies?"

This will be a fascinating study in coaching tonight.

Self's team does not need this game to get the league title outright.

Self's team is extremely banged up right now.

Tyshawn looked like he might have pulled a muscle in his thigh one time against OSU, plus god only knows what other stuff he must have collected the last month, and then there's always the knee.

TRob looks like a human wrap now--both arms, a knee, and it seems like every game all the banging gives him some new bruise or ding.

Jeff has had a bum thigh for quite awhile now. He's got a twisted ankle. He's probably had his nose broken at least twice this season alone.

Travis has been on one Dunlop now for 2/3s of the season and it has appeared to get worse in recent games. He also seems to have some kind of upper body injury that has sharply restricted his motion on his jump shot.

EJ seems banged up, but I can't recall what it was specifically right now. He's lost a lot of flexibility in his lower back and he has shot so poorly from trey for so long now that it seems slayr's speculation about last season's shoulder injury maybe limiting still seems likely.

Conner on the surfaces seems to have missed the injuries, but his defense improved so sharply against MU that I suspect he must have been fighting some kind of injury during late January through early February to produce some of the shaky performances in that stretch.

We don't talk much about injuries to the bench players, because the conventional wisdom is they are not super talented and have been slow to develop. I don't see any injuries in them, but I keep thinking about Kevin's fine performance against Ohio State and then the sharp drop off for quite some time afterwards. I assumed it was all growing pains, but he's put a few good games together lately and so he may have been struggling through something injury related that may still be nagging a bit.

Justin's play spiked early, then tanked. Considering he's a defensive specialist not tasked with offending, except hustling stick backs, it seems kind of conspicuous to me that he has lost his early season ability to pick up garbage baskets; that smacks of an injury of some kind, regardless of his foul-itis.

Finally, Self and the team have as much as said the players have been running on fumes for 2-3 weeks now.

And Self is not above pulling his punches for coaches he views with professional respect.

jaybate 9 years, 1 month ago

I've watched Self too long to think he might sit his regulars.

I've watched Self too long to think he won't send them out to try to win.

But the man clearly sends teams out flat some times and he clearly does not always step in and give them the extra edge in offensive strategic scheming he gives them for a big game. He tactfully calls it letting them labor for wins. And he also chooses to play his reserves quite a bit more some games, when he's trying to keep some guys fresh for the next game. And there are some coaches, as I suggested, that he appears not to let his team really beat up on get some swagger and national recognition from.

Interestingly, Self made a point to say they could "get their world rocked" by Texas tonight. And the story mentioned that Barnes and Texas may need a win to get off the bubble and into the tournament.

Does Self want to win this game badly enough to amp them up to win it?

It seems it could take that, because if Barnes needs a win to get in the tournament, he is going to amp his Longhorns from here to Alpha Centauri.

So: what strategy does Self follow?

Best guess: No amp. Reserves play a bit more than usual. Self lets the team decide if they want to win it for themselves, or take a W. He may try to get Conner and EJ untracked from trey early, so Texas can't sag on the block. What else is new? This would also be a good game to show a little something new that will force opponents to have to prepare for. Maybe dust off that zone press used very briefly last season, so opponents have to waste time preparing for it. Maybe let Jeff show his sky hook a time or two. Having to prepare for hooking always preoccupies opponents. Oh, Self will be fiery on the sidelines and he will goose his players to get them going once the whistle blows, because he is a competitive animal, and so is each of his players.

Much depends on Barnes.

If he comes out and really tries to muscle KU, but cleanly. Well, then it turns into a hamburger grinder, the score is close, and what happens happens.

But if Barnes starts pulling a bunch of rabbits out of the hat on offense and defense, then Self will call a time and say, okay, boys, the gloves are off. Cut the head off and the body dies. Looks like we'll have to rest tomorrow.

Rock Chalk!!!

jaybate 9 years, 1 month ago

P.S.: There is another angle. The team is 25-5. This means they are within striking distance of exceeding Sherron and Cole's rebuilding team in terms of the W&L Statement. To wind up with a better W&L statement than that team is the next feasible goal for this bunch to aim at. Self may feel some obligation to this bunch, because they have worked so hard and come so far. He might decide that this team has to keep leaving it all on the floor, because it deserves the chance to try to beat that team's W&L and so claim bragging rights. But if Self thinks this team could fight its way to the Final Four and get a shot at upsetting either UK, or Syracuse, if he believes this scenario is within their grasp, then I think he's got to start thinking now about resting these guys up and healing injuries to whatever extent possible for a Madness run...this game and the conference tourney be damned. Now, I really haven't a clue how he will play this. :-)

Go, Bill, go!

Steve Brown 9 years, 1 month ago

"if Self thinks this team could fight its way to the Final Four and get a shot at upsetting either UK, or Syracuse, if he believes this scenario is within their grasp, "

CommanderBate. I like the way you think, refresh, refit the troops between the major battles, certainly in the grasp, yet closer to 40%than 60%. Even so I would favor your plan, to create a little rest and healing....

This game is the last loss we can handle where it won't cost us a trophy and banner. So it's much like pre.season in that respect.

ParisHawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Hard to believe Self (or the players) would accept a second consecutive home loss to Texas, especially since the previous loss was in the wake of TRob's tragedy.

Plus it's Senior Night. How long since KU has lost on Senior Night?

I would gut it out at home then "rest" (relatively speaking) in the Big 12 Tournament. But Self loves those trophies...

At this point rest won't make injuries or fatigue go away, it will just keep things from getting worse.

Alohahawk 9 years, 1 month ago

"Cut the head off". That would be Brown. Shut him down and Texas will have to revert to plan "B".

"Dust off the zone press". I doubt Self would want to, simply because it would force the starters to exert more energy, which the Hawks are going to need till the final seconds tick off the clock. If KU's bench were a little quicker/better at defense, maybe he could use them for that roll. But Texas has decent guards so I'd say, don't chance giving up easy layups applying a full court press.

Three big questions:

  1. Which Withey will show up against Texas? Texas has a 7' senior center, who can hit from outside. They'll try to pull Withey away from the paint.

  2. How will Conner Teahan perform, this being Senior Night? If his 3's are on, it could change the entire complexion of the game. I just don't want to see the Hawks popping 3's all night, unless the necessity is there.

  3. Which Texas team will show up tonight? If Texas wins, it would insure a bid to the NCAA tourney. If not, they're headed to the NIT. So which Texas team shows? The Longhorns, or the Shorthorns? The one from the past, which always gives KU a hard fought, down to the wire, finish. Or this year's model, which hasn't shown much but a few sparks here and there. I think it will be depend on how well Texas performs at the start of the game. If they can hold their own over the first 10 - 15 minutes, it could be like the battles of old. If KU takes it to them early, they'll lose heart and fade into the sunset.

This being Senior Night, I'm 99% certain of a KU win. This is TT's finale in The Phog. He has the ability and willpower, and won't want to leave on a down note. It's going to be a 15 to 20 point Jayhawk win.

REHawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Hawks, let's strike a bit of retribution for the Longhorn's stepping into our house to douse our nationleading home winning streak last season, catching our squad worn down by a strenuous night of grieving. Rock Chalk!

addlime 9 years, 1 month ago

Yes, lets hope Self shows them highlights from that game! I'm so fired up right now just thinking about it!

JhawkalumJB 9 years, 1 month ago

No, your mistaken. That is given to them after they sign their Letter of Intent. Right after they visit the night club on their recruitment visit.

Yea right, as if.... not at KU, only in the movies...... and in the S.E.C.!!!!

Jeeveshawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Im very glad that hcbs has stuck with tradition and is not letting players who will surely leave after this season (i.e. TRob) give speaches if they are not seniors. Some will say that this is unfair, but in my opinion it is only fair that you should have to earn a speech by putting in four years of basketball as a jayhawk.

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