Thursday, March 29, 2012

Big Easy come …

Jayhawks jazzed to arrive in New Orleans

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor ducks down to receive a necklace of beads as the Jayhawks arrive at the JW Marriott in downtown New Orleans, Wednesday, March 28, 2012.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor ducks down to receive a necklace of beads as the Jayhawks arrive at the JW Marriott in downtown New Orleans, Wednesday, March 28, 2012.


— Sirens filling the air, Kansas University’s basketball team bus received a police escort into downtown New Orleans at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Jayhawk players and coaches exited in back of the JW Marriott hotel to much fanfare. Workers placed beads over their heads, while a six-piece band played tunes like “When The Saints Go Marching In.”

“I love jazz, and this week I’m going to love it more than I ever have, I hope,” KU coach Bill Self said.

The team was to practice today at an undisclosed location and hold media sessions at the New Orleans Superdome. On Friday, it’s more media and a shootaround open to the public from 3:10 to 4 p.m. at the Dome.

“We’re not going to turn them loose on Bourbon Street, although I totally trust my guys,” Self said with a smile. “But they can go out and eat, walk around (Wednesday night). We’ll have curfew relatively early because tomorrow is a busy day. Friday will be a busy day.. It’s free time tonight, and beginning tomorrow they’ll be tied up every minute of the day for the most part.”

KU will play Ohio State in a Final Four semifinal approximately 7:49 p.m. Saturday in the newly named Superdome.

“I think what was cool was driving in (from airport) and seeing what used to be the Superdome. I guess it’s now seeing the Mercedes-Benz Superdome,” Self said. “It’s a cool view. Then driving by and seeing all the (Final Four) banners hung ... our guys are excited. I told our guys they have it seated for 75,000 (fans), and there won’t be more than 45,000 at practice. No reason to be nervous. I think these type of things will get our guys fired up.”


UmbertoConforti 9 years ago

Braggart! Yet, this I believe. You do have a propensity for taking advantage of wounded quail. If readers have followed your multiple criticism they know.

SaltLakeHawk 9 years ago

Bill Self loves jazz? Funny, I've always pictured him rolling with an iPod full of hardcore gangster rap.

Jmwesterhaus 9 years ago

Funny, I always picture him listening to Michael Bolton and doing the Carlton Dance!!


RJ King 9 years ago

Garth Brooks was a college friend, so I imagine he has a shameless collection of country

Curtis Stutz 9 years ago

Scariest thing about the OSU game is how well they rebounded against us last time without Sullinger. TRob guarding Thomas is alright except he can take him away from the basket leaving a need for other guys to step up on the defensive glass. I hope the guys get "fired up" to control the defensive glass.

Kye Clark 9 years ago

Yeah I don't worry about our rebounding so much. UNC was the top rebounding team in the country, and had just outrebounded Ohio by 33 or something. We outrebounded them, so I think we'll be fine against OSU.

Curtis Stutz 9 years ago

I hope so, I know Tyshawn had 10 d-boards against NC St., which bodes well. Hope they keep after it and EJ and Travis get into the act as well. Just tired of hearing people belittle what these guys have accomplished this year because of other teams' injuries. Would love to see them play great against OSU Saturday.

JamesA 9 years ago

"last game" was, essentially, a different season. BEAT THE BUCKS

baldwinjhawk 9 years ago

I smell some brilliant junk (triangle and 2) defense coming from self! rcjh!

rick cowley 9 years ago

I really don't think we will see the Tri & 2, the great thing is that O-State will have to put in time preparing for it.

Bville Hawk 9 years ago

I think that smell is the bean burrito you had for dinner. You can go to the well too many times. Every opponent from here on out will be well prepared for a Tri +2 defense and if we go to it we'll probably be out of it the 2nd time down the floor.

Joe Ross 9 years ago

Im looking at your bracket pics. Good job!

Jmwesterhaus 9 years ago

He got two of four right, just like you.... and me...

gchawk 9 years ago

Look again at the post he responded to, all 4 correct.

Curtis Stutz 9 years ago

Thanks JRoss, had UNC Asheville pulled it off I would be looking strong. Lot of good brackets from the KU faithful this year for sure, maybe we just got lucky that we've played 2 of the other FF teams, but I'd guess the KUsports brackets had a much higher % of people with all FF teams correct than that of the ESPN or Yahoo Sports bracket pools.

lee3022 9 years ago

The Trail Blazers did that once. Even the refs didn't figure it out.

Sam Constance 9 years ago

Ravenel was no slouch. The only reason he doesn't play more is because of Sullinger's presence in the lineup.

But he's a big body and skilled.

Plus, as others have noted, it's really hard to gauge anything about Saturday's matchup from the first matchup. Too much has changed:

1) Sullinger isn't going to chicken out (or more correctly, his coach isn't going to use injury as an excuse to get a pressure-free game in AFH) 2) Tyshawn no longer 48-hours away from knee surgery 3) Not in Allen Fieldhouse 4) Withey had not yet "broken out" as the interior force that he has been for most of the games (MUx2 and Purdue games notwithstanding) since then.

Those are the big ones. Also think about the fact that OSU and KU are both probably playing better ball now than they were back when they first met.

itsalwayssunnyinlarry 9 years ago

Can't wait To pull into nawllins on Friday!

Curtis Stutz 9 years ago

still in pregame, pregame started on Monday I think, media buzz around final four is increasing, at first I was disappointed by how little there was, now it's driving me nuts

Shawn Otrimble 9 years ago

Bill Self is at his best when he believes he is coaching an up hill battle. When all is said and done and he retires and comes back for his name to be hung in the rafters or on a building, In his "Mr. Holland's Opus" like moment. I believe he will reflect on this year as being his favorite year no matter what else happens. It has been a joy to watch this guy coach. I think he truly enjoys the close games and the great thing about Self is that he is humble enough and willing to learn and adapt. That is why I believe we are the most dangerous team left. On paper OSU and KY should beat us, but just ask Memphis how the on paper worked for them in 08. This has been the most amazing year I have witnessed since Danny and the miracles. There is something to be said about a 7 man rotation and surviving in this type of tournament compared to a regular season. Rock Chalk!!!!

jhox 9 years ago

We were under the radar in 2008, because the national media had no idea how good we were, but to those familiar with the team, there was little doubt we were the best team there. Us winning in 2008 was no upset and no surprise.

This team, on the other hand, really has a chance to shock the world. We've beaten OSU without Sullinger, and at home, but his back up had a great game so I'm not sure how much they really missed him. Other than one bad several minute stretch, where we didn't take care of the ball against Kentucky (early in the season) we played them pretty much toe to toe. If we can hit a few threes, defend like we're capable of, and take care of the ball, there is no reason we can't win this thing. If I had to bet my own money, it would be on Kentucky, but even they are beatable if we fire on all cylinders.

Martin Rosenblum 9 years ago

Let's face it, we're not under the radar, we are like the Stealth Bomber, not showing up on the radar at all! Media seems to focus on the sizzle first and KU just isn't a sizzle-rich program. Sizzle doesn't win games. Sizzle doesn't overcome lack of depth, Sizzle doesn't out-coach the great coaches. We will probably get more press from the side stories like Manning and Hinson leaving than from our season and potential to pull off two wins in New Orleans.

jaybate 9 years ago

" the Stealth Bomber, not showing..."


RJ King 9 years ago

I remember the 2008 SI covers in the weeks leading up to the tournament. In no particular order they featured: Kevin Love, Tyler Hansbrough, and Derrick Rose.

The last of the magazines arrived the day of (?) or just before the Final Four began. At first I was miffed that they had ignored Kansas in their pre-tournament coverage. Then it hit me. It was a SIGN.

The following issue of SI featured the entire Kansas team on the cover. Mario had his back turned to the camera. I think we all remember why. Chills, anyone?

jaybate 9 years ago

Remember how small the internet pipes were in 2008?

Remember how many fewer hot spots there were in 2008?

Remember how the iPhone had only been released since June 29th, 2007 and almost no one had a smart phone yet?

Remember how small Apple used to be in 2008?

Remember the old web site?

Remember the old uniforms?

Remember how the economy was in free fall late in the Dubya Administration and no one was willing to declare we won in Iraq and just come home?

Remember how the stock markets plunged on January 21st?

Remember how January 22rd Putin and the Russians were so nervous about Dubya and the Vulcans that the Russians staged their largest naval exercise since the Cold War in the Bay of Biscay?

Remember how on February 5th the Dow dropped 370 points and everyone thought that was huge?

Remember February 12th when the state oil company of Venezuela suspended oil sales to Exxon Mobil?

Remember how March 19 an exploding star across the universe became the most distant object in the universe ever observed?

Remember how March 25th, a 414 square kilometer (160 sq. mi.2) chunk of Antarctica's Wilkins Ice Shelf disintegrated, leaving the entire shelf at risk?

Remember how in the first week of April, KU beat Cal's Memphisto team full of ineligibles and perhaps illiterates for a ring?

Martin Rosenblum 9 years ago

Remember 100 and his wisdom-packed posts?

Steve Brown 9 years ago

yes and no last minute haircuts, doomed Sampson and Whithey/Conner earlier this year.

Marcia Parsons 9 years ago

I don't know. Didn't Withey play his first spectacular game after getting a haircut?

JD Roth 9 years ago

Yes, right after the haircut. Good memory!

Steve Brown 9 years ago

Conner got a cut and couldn't hit a barn for two weeks.

Martin Rosenblum 9 years ago


Please make sure to look for a line on the court that is curved and extends 20ft 9in. from the center of the goal. Step behind it and shoot the ball. It's exactly the same distance in the Superdome as at AFH. Keep shooting until coach tells you to move on to another drill. When you go to those NBA camps, the distance will be even farther and you'll need to dazzle with your ability to complete a fair %. Just trying to help!

Bville Hawk 9 years ago

Do you really think a 21 year old guy who has been playing basketball probably 50 weeks a year since age 5 or 6 at least a couple hours a day, AND spent 4 years under one of the best high school coaches in the country, AND spent the last 4 years under one of the best college coaches in the country really needs to hear this from you?

Martin Rosenblum 9 years ago

I do. Haven't you been paying attention to his humor based comments about his dilema with shooting 3s in domes? And by the way, who are you to tell me how and what I should say here? Isn't the purpose of this venue to allow fans to express their thoughts and to comment on issues related to KU sports? Why don't you make your comments and I'll make mine. If you don't agree with something I say, tell me, and I will reciprocate. But, don't question my right to make a comment.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years ago

Whatever you do, do not google this headline!

Bville Hawk 9 years ago

I did and got a lot of hits for big easy comedy !!! ???

Not really earth shaking...

Iandhi 9 years ago

I just thought that you asked Siri to google it instead of typing it.

KansasComet 9 years ago

This team has played the perfect schedule to prepare for this moment. They have traveled and they have played tough road games in front of tough crowds and they have played neutral site games in front of large crowds. They have been down by double digits and come back. They have been outplayed and learned from it. They have been feeling too good about themselves and got knocked back to reality. They have had key players in foul trouble and kept believing. More than anything this team continues to survive and advance. I think they are ready!! Go Jayhawks.

Tony Bandle 9 years ago

....add in the distraction of losing their assistant coach and their "bench buddy", mix in total media disregard for our chances, though in a dash of Kentucky Obnoxiousness and, voila, a formula for an upset.

PS Does anyone know if Ashley Judd and her fake boobs are going to be in the dome or is she on location making another movie or television series that will totally suck!!

jaybate 9 years ago


Takin' Ash down a couple notches.

Watch out. Wynona might sit on you. :-)

JayHawkFanToo 9 years ago

Oak, Time has not been kind to Ashley Judd. In her new series on TV she looks nothing like the babe she used to be.

justinryman 9 years ago

I think it's a very cool move of Self to let the players go eat and that he trust them to be on their own. That says a lot about this team and of the individuals on it.

I have never heard him say anything like this before about having trust in a team. That is great coaching and great player leadership!

RJ King 9 years ago

When it says he smiled after the comment, I pictured Self using the sarcasm font. I read it as though he loves his guys, but he wasn't going to let Bourbon Street jeopardize their games.

dtdjayhawk 9 years ago

Let's send Danny Manning to Tulsa with another National Championship ring and then declare this team "Thomas and the Miracles" that would be the best tribute I could think of

Rock Chalk!

nuleafjhawk 9 years ago

I love that photo of Tyshawn -

" I have to do WHAT for these beads ??? "

Martin Rosenblum 9 years ago

How about flash his.....

double-double. I'll settle for points/assists, points/steals, points/rebounds.

theend 9 years ago

I get so nervous for these games......especially at this stage. Anybody have any techniques or remedies they could recommend? My usual pattern is to lock myself in a room by myself away from anybody. My friends always want to get together......but I can't. I'm too uptight and need to vent & scream at the TV.

In 2008.......I started the game sitting calmly on my sofa.......but by overtime I was crouched behind it.....on my knees and cringing........hoping and praying!!.

Anybody have any thoughts? No alchohol until after the game.......I have to stay sharp and focused!

9 years ago

“In 2008.......I started the game sitting calmly on my sofa.......but by overtime I was crouched behind it.....on my knees and cringing........hoping and praying!!.”

I thought I was the only one doing that during the ’08 National Championship game! :-)

theend 9 years ago

There were probably many us doing that!! What a game......I loved it.....but I also hated it. I even get nervous watching videos of it!

I seriously think I used up at least 2000 calories. I remember being so hungry. I ate and listened to the radio until about 3:30 AM.

HawkKlaw 9 years ago

Um...quit being so neurotic? haha

To be fair though, all of us were probably adhering to our strangest superstitions that game.

gchawk 9 years ago

"My recommendation to you is to drink heavily", and you better listen because I'm in pre-med, or is it pre-law(?).

Alohahawk 9 years ago

Since beating N. Carolina, I've re-watched most of this year's games (wins only), which I recorded, just to keep my mind from reflecting too much on the upcoming weekend's game(s). I'll watch again the 2008 tourney games (Davidson, N.Carolina, and Memphis). Maybe the Final Four games twice. To break away from reality, I'll watch Star Wars IV (the original, first episode), one of my all-time favorite movies. On Saturday morning, I'll go walk around the block a couple dozen times. Return home, take a shower and then make sure the recorder is all set with a fresh DVD inserted. Peel and section a couple of oranges. Fill a bowl with tortilla chips, and another with a mix of ham and cheese cubes. Peel a couple of fresh oranges. (To celebrate a win: There's a container of Vanilla Swiss Almond - Haagen-Dazs ice cream in the freezer.) Put some bottled water on ice. I'll have a scratch pad handy to note any game times I want to click to, to review, once the game ends. Then, I'll knock on my two next door neighbor's doors to let them know I'm Okay, not dying, when they hear me screaming and yelling while the game is in progress, and that if the building starts shaking, it's only me jumping up and down. And when the game ends, if they hear a huge whoop, to let them know there will be a repeat performance of the same on Monday. And if they don't hear the whoop, that they won't see me for a week, because I'll be too depressed to do anything.

theend 9 years ago

You have some good routines......I just hope my heart can take it this weekend!

lee3022 9 years ago

Try 'watching' the game on computer graphics - ESPN or CBS instead of live TV. The lag between postings is enough to get a couple of breaths and you don't see all the bad calls by the refs. (Of course record the game to watch once it is over.)

Marcia Parsons 9 years ago

For me, it's easier to take when it gets really tight if I'm only listening and not looking.. Luckily I'm able to get Bob and Chris for a radio play-by-play, because the TV guys don't really tell you what's going on since they think you're seeing it for yourself. So I guess hiding your eyes is my only suggestion. Oh, I've been known to go outside and pace in the driveway when the blood gets to pounding in my ears too loud.

theend 9 years ago

Thanks.....I'm the opposite. I really freak if I can't see what is happenning. I really like Bob and Chris.......but if I can't see and only hear it makes me crazy. I would play the radio and turn down the TV volume.....except that there is usually a delay.

Pacing is it throwing furniture and tearing apart pillows with your teeth. I would pull my hair out......but I'm already pretty much bald!

Alohahawk 9 years ago

Pulled your hair out too many times, ehh? :>)

theend 9 years ago

As nervous as I get.....KU basketball could well be the reason for my baldness. But it's a price I'm willing to pay!!

bbeckum 9 years ago

If you have access to a couple of pugs, they can be a very calming influence.

theend 9 years ago

I love dogs......but I would not want to scare them with my screams and rants. Pugs are awesome, though!

Robert Lofthouse 9 years ago

~ stand in front of the TV and yell as if you're in the Dome! It doesn't help the team but it sure feels good.

theend 9 years ago

I do that. It helps me release energy.....but doubt it helps our team. Then again.....can't hurt either!

Jeffery Barrett 9 years ago

I do the Rock Chalk Jayhawk chant at the end of the games. Drives my wildcat fan wife nuts! That's why I really do it!

kellerman411 9 years ago

      I'd like to make an observation about how far KU has come with this supposedly depleted talent.  Even ESPN is drooling over the job Bill has done with no Mcdonald's all-americans.  To be honest, I am too.  However, we may not have any MAs but sheeeesh, we don't even start a player who wasn't an ESPNU 100.  Elijah, Travis and Jeff were all Mcdonald's all-american type players, they just didn't quite make the cut for one reason or another but clearly at 95 or above, you are the elite of the elite.  My point is, this is beginning to sound like a built in excuse.  We don't have any talent but look how far we made it.  
      To put some of this into perspective.  This year, we have two ESPNU 100 players committed and that has given us a top 10 recruiting class.  Back to the original point, all 5 of our starting players made this prestigous group coming out of high school.  Not only that, they are all juniors and above!  So, is it really that odd that we're in the final four?
      I don't think these kids are over achieving at all.  They are playing at a high level, just like they were projected to do coming out of high school.  That is something we're all happy to see.

Jeff Whithey ESPNU100 grade 96 Travis Releford ESPNU100 grade 95 Elijah Johnson ESPNU100 grade 95 Thomas Robinson ESPNU100 grade 93 Tyshawn Taylor ESPNU100 grade 92

RJ King 9 years ago

I've thought of this time and time again. And if you like Rivals stars, our starters were all four stars and EJ was five.

When hearing about the X Treme team makeover, I've often wondered if these guys aren't thinking, "uhhh, dude. It's not like we were intramural players before."

The real story is whether their game is on or off on any given day, and what kind of support is needed from the bench.

RJ King 9 years ago

Home grown Northern Californians are indifferent about college basketball. The transplants are loyal to their roots, if it is/was a strong program.

The problem with watching from a sports bar is that you'll find only a couple people rooting for the team from where they actually graduated. Most of the yelling and screaming is bet-related, so the cheering follows the money. I understand it. But I don't want to be there.

It's usually just me and my family. Or me and my Tivo.

Alohahawk 9 years ago

I know what you mean. Watching in a sports bar (or any public place), unless it's a home town (Lawrence, Ks.) bar, or in AFH, makes it hard to relate to the people surrounding you. Plus, it helps to watch on a big screen TV. And when the game ends, to be able to immediately rewatch the last few exciting minutes.

justinryman 9 years ago

I hate watching KU games in Omaha sports bars, there is always one or two people that have to cheer for the other team and act like they know it all. That or they have to taunt about football, what a joke!

KULA 9 years ago

No such problem at Los Angeles Jayhawk watch party headquarters on Melrose, 300 strong.

ohmixmaster 9 years ago

RCJH!!! Has anybody heard, what time Meth Lab U plays on Saturday? Or are they busy hanging up their "participation banner" in Columbia? Perhaps they might be busy at the flea market (see: Sorry for this, but bashing that Slave State to the East is just too much fun.

nighthawking 9 years ago

I so ready for this to start I could scream. I love that few sports writers are giving us a chance at all. If the scoreboard reads...KANSAS JAYHAWKS vs SULLINGER PREGAME, then I might worry. Actually it is laughable. Jayhawks 100 Ohio State 19. Of course I am kidding. They might score 20 if they get hot on the charity stripe.

nighthawking 9 years ago

oops.. sorry about the non caps on Kansas Jayhawks.

Jeffery Barrett 9 years ago

Dude. You should comment on every story. Doesn't even matter what you write.

jaybate 9 years ago

"Some Ways You Know the Final Four Is in New Orleans"

~"Bonapartists Love Basketball" stickers big in the French Quarter.

~Each team will get a crayfish broil at half time.

~Harry Conniff Jr. adapts legendary Satchmo lyrics to "What a Wonderful Dunk." For the perfect original by Satchmo listen to this link...

~K-Paul's announces a new dish called a "Basketball Soufflé" made from grits, yams, and a pureed Wilson Jet.

~Shaquille shows up for old times sake and the Super Dome settles on the side he stands on.

~Old JFK movie posters picturing Guy Bannister with the quote "Camelot in Smithereens" being taken down for the week.

~No speculation allowed this week about who the private contractors were reputedly killing in the aftermath of Katrina.

~Rumors rampant that Forest Gump will play for one of the Final Four teams as a promotion for sagging sales of Forrest's Shrimp cocktail business.

~Ann Rice writing a book about a Final Four team coached by LeStat.

~A play opens this week called, "A Streetcar Named Defense" about a fictitious basketball coach named Will Me coaching a rebuilding team to a national championship.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

nighthawking 9 years ago

Sounds like a Storyville Championship for KU.

Martin Rosenblum 9 years ago

not to mention:

TRob getting thrown out of Cafe Du Monde for flagrant dunking of a beignet in his chickory.

Jeff Withey instinctively blocks all beads thrown at him on Bourbon Street.

Elijah Johnson upon spending time in the French Quarter, remarks "and they call my hometown Sin City!"

Joe Dooley dons a white t-shirt with his slick back hair and runs into the street yelling "Stelllaaa!". (nobody knows why, though)

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are still wandering through the Ninth Ward on the lookout for Katrina victims while making sure the lighting is right from the camera crew.

ohmixmaster 9 years ago

When exactly is Jaybate going to be hired by the LJWorld? The guy writes better short stories on this board than most published short stories. "A Streetcar Named Defense" it!!!

Alohahawk 9 years ago

Ehh? Jaybate writing "short" stories? Yes, they are stories, but...? Maybe the LJW has asked him aboard, but he turned them down because they restricted him to 2000 words, or less. He found that too restrictive. :>}

JD Roth 9 years ago

Let's go Jayhawks!! Just heard Ryan Burr for the thousandth time say KU beat Ohio State WITHOUT SULLINGER, take care of business!!

lee3022 9 years ago

Based on the above photograph and story I assume the NCAA will announce tomorrow that Tyshawn is ineligible for the games this weekend because the beads constitute impermissible benefits, :-)

Jeeveshawk 9 years ago

As much as I would love to kick the crap out of Calapari and UK, I will be pulling for Louisville in that game, because it would be an easier game for us if we beat OSU.

Of course you always have to take it a step at a time. OSU is a very good team and they have a good chance to take us down in the Big Easy.

But lets not let that happen. Go Jayhawks!

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