It’s time to accent year’s top Jayhawks

Friday, May 18, 2012

As the school year winds to a close, it’s time to highlight Kansas University’s top performers.

  1. Thomas Robinson: The nation’s lone unanimous first-team All-American led the surprising Jayhawks to the brink of a men’s basketball national title and went out in style, totaling 18 points and 17 rebounds against Kentucky’s talented front line in the national title game.

  2. Angel Goodrich: Wow! In a sport that has had trouble generating a big national following and all-important TV ratings, Goodrich is a can’t-take-your-eyes-off-of-her performer. The 5-foot-4 point guard put her multiple knee troubles behind her and led KU, a surprise selection in the NCAA Tournament field, to the Sweet 16. Goodrich’s no-look passes, bold dashes to the hoop and pull-up jumpers had the players on the men’s team glued to their TV sets during March Madness. They marveled at her basketball intuition, her ball-handling skill and her confident approach. She averaged 39.35 minutes in Big 12 games.

  3. Diamond Dixon: The NCAA Indoor 400-meter champion ran a national-best 51.09 in the Big 12 Outdoor track championship. She also anchored the 1,600-meter relay team that placed first in the Big 12 meet.

  4. Tyshawn Taylor: Played two games with a torn meniscus, didn’t miss any after surgery and earned his degree.

  5. Andrea Geubelle: The NCAA Indoor triple-jump champion won the event in the Big 12 Outdoor track meet with a sky-walk of 44 feet, 23⁄4 inches.

  6. Maggie Hull: When softball coach Megan Smith was hired, she inherited the gift of Maggie, recruited by her predecessor, Tracy Bunge. The former Journal-World sports department intern out of Free State High has gone from writing stories to being written about, thanks to her Big 12-best .409 average, a school record that topped Jill Larson’s .400 mark in 1979. Hull is KU’s first first-team All-Big 12 player since 2006 and is a two-time first-team All-Academic honoree.

  7. Elijah Johnson: The junior guard who grew up in Gary, Ind., and played high school ball in Las Vegas developed into a clutch shooter and a versatile guard who was careful not to turn it over. Johnson has a lot of growth left in him and should not be counted out of contending for first-team All-American honors.

  8. Jeff Withey: Nobody on the men’s basketball team made bigger strides than the guy with the biggest stride.

  9. Frank Duncan: Right-hander from San Francisco came out of Thursday’s 1-0 baseball shutout of Missouri with a 6-7 record, a 2.56 ERA and a 3-to-1 strikeout/walk ratio.

  10. Todd “Leaper” Williams: Despite the football team’s poor performance, Leaper, a Special Olympics gold medalist, again brought passion and attention to detail to his equipment-room duties. Leaper, many might recall, was the holder when the late Don Fambrough booted a kick through the uprights in a recent KU alumni football game.