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Kansas defeats Texas, 73-63

  • 8 p.m., March 3, 2012
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cheers, then tears: KU wins again on Senior Night

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor hugs fellow senior Jordan Juenemann after their final game at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor hugs fellow senior Jordan Juenemann after their final game at Allen Fieldhouse.

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2012 KU senior speeches

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Senior speeches from Tyshawn Taylor, Conner Teahan and Jordan Juenemann following KU's 73-63 victory over Texas March 3, 2012.

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KU vs. Texas

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Kansas defeated Texas, 73-63, on Saturday, March 3, 2012, at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 73-63 victory over Texas on March 3, 2012.

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Kansas vs. Texas

Box score

Another Kansas University basketball tradition lives on.

The Jayhawks, who earlier in the week wrapped up their eighth-straight Big 12 Conference championship, on Saturday night dumped Texas, 73-63, in Allen Fieldhouse and in the process won their 29th-straight home finale and 28th-consecutive Senior Night contest.

KU had no seniors on the 2006-07 team.

“That is pretty remarkable,” KU coach Bill Self said of the lengthy stretch of Senior Night victories.

On this night, his Jayhawks (26-5 overall, 16-2 Big 12) survived a 33-point scoring explosion of UT guard J’Covan Brown, who went for 29 the second half.

“Look at what happened to Duke tonight (losing at home to North Carolina) and Louisville (falling to South Florida at home earlier in the week). There are some home teams going down in large part because of too many distractions and too much emotion,” Self added.

Indeed, KU senior Tyshawn Taylor (22 points, four assists, 34 minutes) admitted there were major distractions in disposing of Texas (19-12, 9-9).

“I think the focus was definitely on that speech,” Taylor said of his postgame chat to fans. “I was thinking about that speech a lot more than I should have during the game.”

Fellow senior Conner Teahan had three points and three steals in 24 minutes, while senior Jordan Juenemann, who made his first career start, didn’t score in three minutes.

Also, junior Thomas Robinson, who didn’t give a speech but was introduced by Bill Self to the crowd and was given a standing ovation after what most certainly was his final game in Allen Fieldhouse, exploded for 25 points and 14 rebounds in 36 memorable minutes.

“He knows he got off to a slow start,” Taylor said of his buddy and fellow team leader, Robinson, who scored 18 points off 7-of-9 shooting the second half after scoring seven points off 3-of-10 shooting the first half (with KU leading 26-21 at the break). “He played like the player of the year (second half).”

Self was not pleased with a second half in which Brown lit up the Jayhawk defense for 29 points off 8-of-12 shooting and 12-of-13 free throwing.

“I don’t think we’ve ever, ever had a guy get 29 on us in a half ... ever. We all can take responsibility for that,” Self said.

Self was right.

Brown’s 29 second-half points were most by a Jayhawk opponent since Texas Tech’s Rayford Young scored 35 in the second half on Feb. 12, 1999. Young finished with 41 that game.

Brown’s 12 free throws in a half were most by a Jayhawk opponent since Young made 16 in his second half in Lubbock. Brown’s 13 free-throw attempts are also the most by a Jayhawk opponent since Missouri’s Arthur Johnson attempted 13 in the second half on March 7, 2004.

Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford were the two guys who primarily guarded Brown, though Taylor had him some as well.

“The way we guarded Brown the second half took more out of me than anything else,” Self said. “We did a miserable job the second half. He put on a clinic.

“Travis has to become a lock-down defender. Travis let his man catch it. Right now he’s not guarding,” the coach added of Releford, who chipped in five points and five rebounds. “Elijah is tired. He looked like he’s sick.”

Johnson, who Self later said does not have a (flu) bug, had nine points and six rebounds, the exact line as center Jeff Withey.

“I think with everything going on,” Taylor said, “and the emotion in the air, it was a little tougher for us to get up and excited for this game. Knowing it’s the last one for a lot of us, we did pretty well. It was a slow first half, but then we picked it up and played better.”

A key stretch of the game was a 13-4 KU run that boosted a 30-28 lead to 43-32 with 14:02 to play. Robinson had eight points, Teahan three and Taylor two in that run. Another was a 17-8 run that gave KU a 60-44 lead at 7:05. Johnson had six, Robinson five and Taylor two in that run.

Everybody went home happy again on Senior Night. Taylor’s speech, in which he thanked his family members, coaches, teammates and fans, was the final of the three — with only a handful of fans in the crowd of 16,300 heading to the exits early.

“I really didn’t want to be up there, unlike my man Teahan,” Taylor joked. “It was good, though. I just wanted to thank a lot of people (family, coaches) and get some stuff off my chest about things (mainly thanking his mom). Just let everybody know how I felt about them. Like coach Self said, we really don’t tell people what they mean to you too much. I just had to let everybody know.”

The only thing that could have made the night even more memorable? Perhaps a net-cutting ceremony signifying KU winning the league title again?

“We’d have been here ’til 12:15 (a.m.),” Self said with a smile, thanking the fans for again sticking around for Senior Night speeches.

Comments

GabrielMichael 2 years, 1 month ago

Tyshawn, Connor and Jordan for what it is worth we are awfully proud of you!

You too Thomas!

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jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

It is why their art work has perhaps never been equalled, certainly not exceeded in its capacity for manifesting beauty recognizable to both the learned and the uneducated, when either are moved to look and contemplate honestly.

(Note: to those that want to add their insights about the beauty of Mr. Taylor's game from the perspectives of other civilizations I know less of, feel free to make this multi-cultural at will.)

When you get your contract, Mr. Taylor, go to Europe to a great museum and look at the difference between a Roman statue and a Greek statue. The greater beauty of the Greek statue leaps out at you, even if one knows not a whit about art.

To see you play the game, when you are on, when you are moving effortlessly at vastly faster speeds than all those around you, when you are going places the human eye doubts you have a chance to get to, but which you get to with wondrous dexterity and fluidity, is to see a glimpse of light on a basketball floor.

Thanks for not going to Marquette.

Thanks for fighting through the turnovers to become a terrific point guard.

Thanks for working on that trey till you became a triacetate and it opened up the drive for you.

Thanks for leading this team.

Thanks for showing us all a glimpse of light on a basketball court.

You have been amazing to watch, especially this last month or two.

Rock Chalk!

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jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

The only KU athlete that ever brought as much beauty to the game he played as you do in my memory is Gale Sayers.

Mr. Sayers was poetry in motion. Watch a tape of him running. He couldn't show it every play. Maybe just one time out of ten plays. But that is one more time than most of the other greats ever brought it.

You bring the same thing in basketball, Mr. Taylor.

You have beauty in you and it is expressed through the game itself in a way that few persons, even some of the all time greats, can do.

In America, beauty is often thought to be for sissies, or for movie stars.

The French novelist Victor Hugo once wrote:

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful."

It was his way of saying that beauty has function; that the human soul thirsts not just for meaning and excellence, for practical function and for security and prosperity, but for beauty too.

In France, the beauty of your game would long ago have been noted and venerated.

But we are Americans and beauty comes late to most discussions, if it comes at all.

America, in its empire phase, fancies itself very Roman in its temperament. Its a republic with muscle. It respects strength and force and size. Like the Romans' it likes big military, big water projects, big infrastructure and wars in far away places.

But barely more than a hundred years ago, America fancied itself a republic in the Greek tradition...long on demos...long on questing after culture and athletic accomplishments for the beauty of it...long on the pursuit of happiness, and busily trying to define an American taste and an American sense of art and beauty.

And the men and women that made KU have long prized a philosophical and epistemological heritage dating back to these Greeks of classical antiquity. And this persists, even as the philosophy and epistemology of the university seeks to broaden and include many other great cultures of antiquity, as well.

but those Greeks put beauty paramount as a criterion for the analysis and appreciation of many things, and frankly this has made them a bit unusual in human history.

The Greeks probably used aesthetics and the sense of beauty to analyze and judge worth and thought more rigorously and ubiquitously than any other society of citizens before or since, or so it is sometimes taught.

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jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

Dear Mr. Taylor,

Its a little hard to put into words what an exceptional person I think you are.

When I first saw you play, I called you Quantum T, because of how fast you were.

But it did not stick and I think I know why now.

What makes you distinct and unique is not your speed, though you remain blindingly fast with a basketball.

I can't think of another way to put this so I will just say it plainly: you have the last month and a half played basketball more beautifully than any other point guard I have ever seen. Period.

I am not talking here about how handsome you are and you are plenty handsome.

I am not talking about scoring tons of points, of becoming a fine trey shooter, of great defense, or of great leadership, all of which you have shown and done.

This is not a man crush thing I am trying to articulate here.

I am saying that you play the game in a breathtakingly fluid and beautiful way--perhaps more so than any other player I have watched and I have watched a lot the last 45 years.

My father used to talk about basketball having a grace and a balletic quality to it, even elements of dance and so on.

Most players in D1 are remarkable athletes. The best among them, and you are among the best of them for sure, develop enormous skill and proficiency, as you have.

But to play in a way that reveals the beauty of the game and of human form in motion is rare.

Ask Nick Krug why he photographs you so much.

There is a level of aesthetic beauty to your play that is akin to a dancer in ballet.

It shows up frequently in Nick's photographs.

Now, I know aesthetics don't score points.

Aesthetics don't make a player play through a torn meniscus. Aesthetics don't make a player struggle through wildness and huge numbers of turnovers, while learning to play a new position at the D1 level on teams trying to chase national championships. Aesthetics don't get you drafted. Aesthetics don't get you a big contract, and a huge home.

But I am telling you truly, Mr. Taylor, you bring more beauty in your play to basketball than any player I have ever seen.

It has something to do with the speed at which you play the game and with the openness and vulnerability that you expose when you play.

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Redlandsjhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Does anyone remember Rick Barnes' comment a while back that KU wouldn't be winning so many conference titles if we played a round robin because we have it easier in the north? Well I Do!! And I'd like to point out to Ricky that our record this year was perfect south of Lawrence!!

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KansasComet 2 years, 1 month ago

The NCAA Tournament is about survival. Survive and advance. We must take advantage of match ups in each game and exploit it. Talent is not enough in this atmosphere. Focus and determination will get it done. I believe in this team, and hopefully Kansas can get it done.

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Kye Clark 2 years, 1 month ago

A bit premature perhaps to start focusing on the conference tournament, but I'm going to anyway:

We know the top two #1 seeds are pretty much locks - UK & Syracuse - most likely in the East & Southeast regions. North Carolina looks to be in line for another #1 seed, and right now we're in line for one too. Given UNC's dismantling of Dook yesterday and the fact that they're...well...North Carolina and we know how both the media and the selection committee love them some East Coast teams, if KU is a #1 seed you can almost count on the committee shipping us out west, even if we have the better resume. OK, let's keep this in the back of our minds for a second...

Travis is obviously hurt, and maybe Withey too. I pointed out Travis's decline in defense following the Mizery game and got ripped for it. Since then, Jesse Newell has said he's in a defensive slump (yesterday in the cram session article) and now today on this article Bill is calling him out. Withey had that rolled ankle from the Mizery game and hasn't looked the same since. You also have Bill saying that EJ is tired and looks sick. TRob has plenty of wear and tear on him from the constant hack jobs teams have done on him all season. And Tyshawn could surely use a recharging of the batteries.

You put these two things together and it tells me the best thing for this team would be to rest as much as possible and bow out early from the Big XII tournament. We would then be in a prime position for a #2 seed in the Midwest region. Obviously you can't just call in sick and forfeit the game, and given Self's "win every game possible" mentality it is unlikely he concedes anything. However, my suggestions would be as follows:

  1. Sit Travis entirely, assuming his injury is something that will improve with rest. Earlier in the season he was billed as a lock-down defender, in the same category as Brandon Rush, maybe the best we've ever seen in the Self era. And now...he's average. Fans are making excuses for him, claiming Denmon or Dixon or J'Covan are tough match-ups. If you're a lock-down defender, those excuses don't fly. If we're to make a deep run, a Final Four run, we need him to elevate his defense. And I'm not saying this to throw him under the bus. I'm a huge fan of Travis, and it's not his fault if the injury has caused the decline. But it's because of the injury that I'm saying sit him.

  2. The rest of the regular starters play no more than 25 minutes in any game, and cap Withey at 20. That means that Connor may have to play 30 minutes, KY 25 minutes, Tharpe upwards of 20, and Wesley 15. Juenemann & Lindsay might have to play some too. Script the substitutions patterns if you have to.

Again, this seems unlikely. However like Self said of the '08 team, for Thomas & Tyshawn - their careers will seem incomplete without a Final Four on their resumes. Additional rest gives this team the best chance to get there.

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Mike Kendall 2 years, 1 month ago

Love the speeches, as always! I had a full box of tissues, just in case. I did okay during Tyshawn's speech. Jordan and Connor---not so good. Good for Puffs, though. Good luck guys, in KC, MO! Just win the darn thing!

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Gil Ek 2 years, 1 month ago

I just hope our starters minutes can be held back in the Big 12 Tourny. 3 days in a row is going to be a drain on a team that is a little tired. What a great year. Congrats to all members of the '12 team.

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Jason Keller 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm not even going to say it but.... for the tournament... I like the way we're playing.

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Jason Keller 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm not even going to say it but.... for the tournament... I like the way we're playing.

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SDSurferFan 2 years, 1 month ago

  • Knight loves TT as much as he didn't Sherron.
  • Knight- EJ doesn't come off the bench! His shot looks great btw.
  • KU. F4 team. This team is more upset proof then the early exit NCAA teams.
  • SDSU. Got to give this team some love. Conf champs. #1 seed in MWC tourny. My expectations are low in the NCAA but hell of a season with the team they had.
  • I almost like this week more than MMadness.

  • 7 days till Selection Sunday.......

  • teams I want to make it but need to win the conf/tourney: LBSU and Harvard.
  • lots of factors but I'd say ku needs to get to conf final to get the 1 seed.
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Jack Wilson 2 years, 1 month ago

The Missouri Tigers are champions once again. Can you believe it? The Tigers won the Big 12 wrestling championship. An amazing effort. They may mark I-70 with a sign.

Of course, there are only three other Big 12 schools with wrestling programs. Nothing like winning the Big 4.

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midwest_muser 2 years, 1 month ago

Heading to Chiago this week. Better place to watch games...Lottie's or Kincaid's?

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WilburNether 2 years, 1 month ago

After last night and the Missouri game, using the words "Releford" and "defensive stopper" in the same sentence without a negative is forbidden.

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Joe Joseph 2 years, 1 month ago

16-2 is a ridiculous conference record.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 1 month ago

Can't wait for EJ's speech. I hope he grabs the mic and all he says is "put ya shoes on!" then drops it on the floor and walks off.

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10point8 2 years, 1 month ago

Hey guys! Please vote for my (C. Corley) JAYHAWK comment in the AT&T Sweepstakes. Just two clicks: One to vote. One to confirm. No spam. Rock Chalk! http://attsweeps.att.com/?source=ICNCFBNCA00NAVMES#fbid=P3iK6ygKR7R

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Steve Gantz 2 years, 1 month ago

Another fantastic season for the 'Hawks. To be a wet blanket on last night, only 6 bench points exposing our thin rotation. It's been a concern of mine all year.

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Alohahawk 2 years, 1 month ago

I watched flashes of the Duke vs N. Carolina game today. As much as I could tolerate, what with having to withstand Dukie Vitale's mush over his two favorite teams and coaches, and their conference affiliation.

The point I thought which really stuck out was, in his usual overly emoted manner, Vitale's statement of the two teams records as conference champions of the ACC. Vitale emphasized a couple of times that the two schools have, between the two, won 48 (With N. Carolina's win today - their 30th out of 49) ACC conference championships over the years. More than all the other schools combined.

He could have said, but didn't, in the same breath anyway (because I didn't watch the entire game) that KU has won 55 conference championships. This has to be more than half the championship's, since the Jayhawks have played a total of 107 seasons of basketball. If it had been a KU game Vitale was announcing, you know he would have brought Duke & N. Carolina into the discussion. Shall one say, "Unbiased journalism, by way of ommission."

Shout it to the rafters, and into The Phog history books: "KU has won an unprecendented 55 conference championships!!!" And no one can argue otherwise.

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hawksfan08 2 years, 1 month ago

ESPN is famous for making things seem more competitive than they are. At one point this year, trob was the easy favorite for POY. Nothing has changed since then but espn has to have a story. That is the only reason this is close.

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LAJayhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Okay, seriously. Take a look at what just happened over the last couple of months.

16-2 in conference play for the first time we move into round robin format and extend league play an extra 2 games.

We win the 8th straight title by 2 FULL games... With two other teams in the top 10!!

And it's a rebuilding year.

Come on. Seriously. Who out there really thought all of that would happen?? 16 and 2?! By 2 full games?!?!

Easily Bill Self's best coaching performance of his career, hands down. And just tremendous effort and heart from those group of guys. An unbelievable regular season. Well done, boys. Well done.

Now on to the next phase.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

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jayhawker_97 2 years, 1 month ago

Ty, you're my inspiration. your leadership, courage, will live forever in AFH. thank you for your time & energy! keep flapping those wings, soaring higher & higher and lead us to another ring!

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EverRisingHawk 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm getting tired of listening to announcers discuss Kentucky and Syracuse (and now - after one marquee win - North Carolina) as teams that play at a level above the rest of the top ten. Regardless of whether or not that contains some truth (certainly they are talented as he11), KU deserves their place in that elite company (as though any of us doubt that). Granted we are always one of the big dogs, I feel like this team plays with a chip on their shoulder; they ball with something to prove. Tyshawn and TRob display a focus and intensity that puts this squad in kill mode. They could make this a March that lives on in Jayhawk folklore forever.

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