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Thursday, March 22, 2012

KU arrives in St. Louis focused on Wolfpack

Kansas coach Bill Self greets several young Jayhawk fans following a brief interview with media members as the team arrives on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch.

Kansas coach Bill Self greets several young Jayhawk fans following a brief interview with media members as the team arrives on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch.

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Kansas guard Travis Releford waves to a gathering of Jayhawk fans as the team arrives on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch.

— Kansas University’s basketball charter bus pulled directly in front of the Hyatt Regency at the Arch Hotel at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday in the heart of downtown St. Louis.

The Jayhawk players were greeted by about 20 youngsters and their parents, who cheered wildly as they picked up their room keys and headed to the elevators to drop off their gear before returning to the lobby for a dinner excursion to Ruth’s Chris Steak House, located just down the block on Chestnut Street.

Coach Bill Self said his Jayhawks were hungry — not only for a delicious meal, but a Sweet 16 victory over North Carolina State (9:17 p.m. Friday, Edward Jones Dome).

“One thing I like about our guys: We’re not concerned about anything other than us and N.C. State, to be candid with you,” Self said. “I’m really proud of our guys. They’ve come together well. Thomas (Robinson) has played great. Tyshawn (Taylor) has become great. But it’s Elijah (Johnson), Jeff (Withey), Travis (Releford), Conner (Teahan) ... those guys have elevated their game and given us a chance. We haven’t been a team that very many times has had five guys hitting on all cylinders. We’ve kind of had to piece it together. One thing these guys have done, they’ve been pretty tough.”

Self was asked if he liked the fact the Jayhawks were flying under the radar with the media occupied over the status of North Carolina guard Kendall Marshall, who broke his hand in the Tar Heels’ second-round victory over Creighton.

No. 1 seed UNC plays Ohio at 6:47 p.m. Friday in the first game of the Sweet 16 doubleheader.

“Once you get this far, you are going to play good teams regardless moving forward,” Self said. “If you are fortunate enough to play a second game this weekend — us or N.C. State — they’re going to play a good team whoever that is. I think for Kansas fans, it adds to the flavor a bit having Carolina in town. I don’t think it’s a big deal like it used to be.”

KU beat former Jayhawk coach Roy Williams’ North Carolina Tar Heels in a Final Four semifinal in 2008.

Self was also asked about Missouri of all teams during a media gathering at the team hotel.

“You know what ... why talk about Missouri? They’re not playing here. We’re playing here, not Missouri,” Self said of the team that dropped a first-round game to Norfolk State. “That’s not a knock to them. That’s the tournament. It’s crazy. A lot of things can happen. I’m focused on what we do, not what anybody else is doing or has done.

“I really don’t anticipate a lot of Mizzou fans to be at the game, to be honest with you,” he added, asked if the MU fans would root against KU. “That’s one thing I think has been blown up more so. We are not concerned about Mizzou or their fans. We’ve got a job to do, and that’s to get Kansas ready to play. That’s our only focus.

“I’d think we’d have a great turnout of fans over here. We play late enough on Friday that fans who work a majority of the day could still get here.”

Remembering Wolfpack: Self was a graduate assistant on coach Larry Brown’s KU staff the only time KU has played N.C. State in the NCAA Tournament. KU won, 75-67, on March 23, 1986, at Kemper Arena in Kansas City.

“I was a grad assistant but I wasn’t high enough on the totem pole to sit on the bench. I was sitting in the stands,” Self said. “It was a great game, an Elite Eight game in Kemper Arena. Hopefully there will be a similar result this time.”

Self on N.C. State: “N.C. State is so athletic, so talented. They are deserving to be here and playing really well right now.”

Self on KU’s women’s team, which plays Tennessee in the Sweet 16 on Saturday: “It’s great. How ’bout that? They go from being nervous whether or not they are going to get in (tournament) to winning two games. I saw a stat ... only two other programs in the country have both teams in the Sweet 16 (Baylor, Kentucky). That’s really cool. I’m really happy for our women. They work hard. They’ve had an unbelievable string of bad luck with injuries. It’s good to see it all come together for them.”

This, that: The Jayhawks will hold a shootaround from 3:10 to 4 p.m. today at Edward Jones Dome. ... KU players watched the movie “Mission Impossible” on the team bus Wednesday.

Hinson tied to Southern Illinois job: Southern Illinois University has offered former Illinois coach Bruce Weber its head coaching job, a source told ESPNChicago.com.

If Weber declines, SIU may turn to Kansas University director of basketball operations Barry Hinson, Vanderbilt assistant Dan Muller, Marquette assistant Tony Bedford or Gonzaga assistant Ray Giacoletti, the website said. ESPN said Hinson has interviewed for the job.

Comments

kufreak1512 2 years ago

Just got my tix for tomorrow night. Dead center 15 rows up. Rock Chalk!

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missouricat 2 years ago

Get out your money KU fans as this is going to cost you big time on this game. Already have 6 suckers, I mean KU fans lined up, for a small wagger. Anyone else want to take part in this? Probably not, as I heard that the KU fans don't have much money to back their team or they are not confident in their team. There is going to be a lot of money over in the SEC for the university and the sports programs. Course I have my own business and employ quite a few employees and business is great. Have been working on new contracts of new customers. Will be watch the birds tomorrow night but, they are in over their heads again, so they will have their hands full. Might be a close game.

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KansasComet 2 years ago

Should be a good game. NC State has big guards. I hope we rebound well.

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Joe Baker 2 years ago

2012 PF and Kansas signee Perry Ellis (Wichita Heights/Wichita, KS) was named the Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year for the fourth straight time this morning. Ellis is the first player to win the award four straight years. Ellis is also a four time State Champion, four time All-State selection and has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA for four straight years. Congrats Perry! (theshiver)

Simply Outstanding. Perry Ellis is truly a truehawk in every way: born, reared and educated in the great state of Kansas. There's no place like home.

All young high school athletes need to take note because it can be done. You can play and be great on the court and in the classroom.

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deepind 2 years ago

Scary? Or not? :) KU is the favorite to reach the Final Four from the MidWest region! 8 of the 13 talking heads (ESPN analysts/experts) pick KU.

http://goo.gl/G5adj

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up4par2000 2 years ago

Make it happen Jayhawks!

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up4par2000 2 years ago

Make it happen Jayhawks!

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Chad Smith 2 years ago

Beating MISERY was the best part of the regular season for me the past 20 years. But now it's beating KSU and dominating them as usual. As far as non-con or tournament goes, beating UK,Duke, UCLA is always sweet and anytime we face UNC i'm going to be jacked for it. How could you not be? I'm not even talking about the Roy issue, just the fact that they are an elite program(please don't argue with me, they are) and we are an ELITE program and you want to beat the best. I get jacked anytime we face other high-tradition schools. It's a barometer and measuring stick and bragging rights about legacy and programs. I'm glad we've played newer midwest powers like Ohio State and Michigan State in recent seasons. I think we should also play more big east teams as well in non-con if we can because they play a tough style of basketball that would benefit us. I remember during the jacque vaughn era we played a won a game at UCONN when they had richard hamilton. I'd like to see us play them, or a syracuse( i hate you mcnamara) or louisville during the regular season. It'd be good for both schools.

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Chad Smith 2 years ago

Beating MISERY was the best part of the regular season for me the past 20 years. But now it's beating KSU and dominating them as usual. As far as non-con or tournament goes, beating UK,Duke, UCLA is always sweet and anytime we face UNC i'm going to be jacked for it. How could you not be? I'm not even talking about the Roy issue, just the fact that they are an elite program(please don't argue with me, they are) and we are an ELITE program and you want to beat the best. I get jacked anytime we face other high-tradition schools. It's a barometer and measuring stick and bragging rights about legacy and programs. I'm glad we've played newer midwest powers like Ohio State and Michigan State in recent seasons. I think we should also play more big east teams as well in non-con if we can because they play a tough style of basketball that would benefit us. I remember during the jacque vaughn era we played a won a game at UCONN when they had richard hamilton. I'd like to see us play them, or a syracuse( i hate you mcnamara) or louisville during the regular season. It'd be good for both schools.

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Steve Gantz 2 years ago

We nearly didn't play NCState in the 1986 Elite 8. Interesting story here which I know some of you remember. http://articles.latimes.com/1986-03-23/sports/sp-5776_1_clock

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omng392 2 years ago

I'm going off pure memory here, but I belive NC State has a couple of McDonald's all americans. I was looking at rivals a few weeks back and have always wondered how they could get top 50 talent there with UNC and Duke right around the corner.

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Chad Dexter 2 years ago

I wonder what dumb *** reporter asked Self about Missouri?

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Tony Bandle 2 years ago

There is no "Self" in "selfish"...it has been, is and always will be, about the team.

This year's squad is the epitome of the phrase, "Greater than the sum of it's parts."

There was an article in today's St.Louis Post-Dispatch which describes a 90 year old native Kansas women now a St.Louis resident who knew Dean Smith's family in Kansas and cheers for UNC except when they play Kansas.

During the Purdue/Kansas game on Sunday, she was yelling so loud for the Jayhawks that the neighbors almost called the police, fearing for her life.

All you Jayhawks going to the game on Friday.....remember that dear lady...and yell your friggin' lungs out for our Hawks!!!!!!

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tomkeegslovechild 2 years ago

Pretty good article about HCBS in today's Wichita Eagle. Like Bob Lutz or not, it's a pretty good article.

http://www.kansas.com/2012/03/20/2265894/bob-lutz-self-manufactures-another.html#storylink=omni_popular

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Danny Hernandez 2 years ago

I like that EJ is finally adding the "driving with the ball in the paint" to his arsenal.

That coast to coast drive against Purdue with and 1 is what he can and should be doing in the game...that can help pull these double teams away from TRob. With TT & EJ not only dangerous from outside the arc but with the ball in their hands with the ability to get into the paint, oh man, Kansas just became that much more dangerous.

Opens up the passes to Conner for 3 point attempts.

This team is coming together.......RCJH

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kansas25 2 years ago

It's not Kansas University. You can't change it LJW!

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Martin Rosenblum 2 years ago

Why do teams watch movies that are reported to the public with titles that seem to be so "media-ripe" for interpretation? Seriously, Mission IMPossible? Why not something with a less negative or even neutral title? Regardless of the nature and content of the movie, the title could sound like a prediction, although innocently conceived. With such srutiny in the media over every word and expression players and coaches exhibit during these times, it would seem that more concern would be given to such otherwise trivial details.

I was on a flight one time just after the movie Twister came out. They chose to run that movie on the flight. Maybe it was just me, but I felt like it was a bit ironic with the plane going through turbulance and watching cows and cars being thrown through the air in the movie. Possibly nothing here is that much connected to the Mission Impossible film choice for a team watching while travelling to a tournament venue. But, irony and perception are interesting, nonetheless.

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IrishCharlie 2 years ago

"Self on N.C. State: “N.C. State is so athletic, so talented. They are deserving to be here and playing really well right now.”

Well said, VCU had no business being there.

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REHawk 2 years ago

Coach, thanks for rising to the bait, offering up a dandy eulogy to the dead antlers with stripes. In the future, in regard (oops, had to correct spelling and replace that "t") to the Missouri Tigers, I think I will choose the Bob Knight styleform and refer to them as "that team which crawled to the SEC." Or, just as appropriately, "dead antlers." But wait: did they actually crawl...or slink...or run?
Perhaps MissouriCat (AntlerCat?) could clarify.

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nuleafjhawk 2 years ago

" I think for Kansas fans, it adds to the flavor a bit having Carolina in town. I don’t think it’s a big deal like it used to be. "

I can't speak for any of the rest of you, but it's still a big deal for me.

My idea of a great basketball day - KU wins. Missouri, K-State, Duke & North Carolina lose.

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phogphan2000 2 years ago

NC State is playing well, has a good team, but KU can definitely win this game by a large margin if they play an excellent game. I like the part with Coach talking about how KU usually hasn't had the whole team firing on all cylinders. It's not his first team to be that way, several teams in the past have had guys standing around on offense. If these guys can all feel comfortable taking advantage of openings the offense provides them, if it could be more natural for EJ to drive when he gets the ball with his man out of position or TRel to shoot that bankshot when the ball comes around and he's open, Withey to be ready to finish strong when he's in position, they can still be better than anything we've seen from them yet this year I think. Throw in guys like KYo, Tharpe knocking down a 3 with confidence against Purdue, Conner doing a nice job of getting set for 3s off the kickouts (just needs to be willing to shoot that pump-fake pull-up J again though! Driving behind the basket against Purdue was not working for him). I think that's why KYo has been so great at times, he comes in, if he gets the ball and has an advantage he tries to use it whether it's just from our normal ball movement or a TT drive or TRob passing out of a double team, he's always looking for how it makes it easier for him to contribute to the offense. TT drives, he always cuts, TRob getting doubled and he's great at making himself available.

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Chris Bruning 2 years ago

NC State is the equivelant to KU women right now....

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jayhawkinmullen 2 years ago

KU arrives in St. Louis focused on getting out. Man I hate anything Missouri.

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KULA 2 years ago

This game shouldn't even be close. NC State was one of the last four in. Go out there and treat 'em like a fifth place team in a two team conference.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years ago

”Hello… how bout that ride in? I guess thats why they call it Sin City haha. You guys might not know this but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one man wolf pack. But when my sister brought Doug home, I knew he was one of my own. And my wolf pack, it grew by one. So there… there was two of us in the wolf pack. I was alone first in the pack and Doug joined in later. And six months ago, when Doug introduced me to you guys I thought “wait a second, could it be?” And now I know for sure, I just added two more guys to my wolf pack. Four of us wolves, running around the desert together in Las Vegas, looking for strippers and cocaine.”

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