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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jayhawks can’t wait to return to fieldhouse

The KU fans celebrate during the Jayhawks regular season opening win against Louisiana-Monroe, Friday, November, 8, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

The KU fans celebrate during the Jayhawks regular season opening win against Louisiana-Monroe, Friday, November, 8, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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There have been several volleyball matches and women’s basketball contests played in Allen Fieldhouse the past several weeks.

But there have been no men’s basketball games held in Kansas University’s tradition-rich building since the Jayhawks’ 30-point rout of Towson on Nov. 22.

Believe it or not, Saturday’s 11 a.m. contest against Georgetown will be the first men’s game in Allen in 29 days.

“I can’t wait for that,” KU freshman guard Wayne Selden said with a smile.

Same goes for coach Bill Self, who has taken his team to the Bahamas for three games, Colorado and Florida, as well as Kansas City’s Sprint Center for a six-game stretch away from home.

“I bet it’s the longest time (not) playing in Allen Fieldhouse maybe in the history of the building,” Self said Monday on his “Hawk Talk” radio show. “I could be wrong on that. I bet there’s not been one situation where it’s been a month where a team hasn’t played a home game there.”

He’s close to being correct.

It’s the longest stretch between games in the fieldhouse in the Self era, with the previous 19 days four different times.

The longest stretch in the modern era appears to be 32 days between home games from Dec. 16, 2000, to Jan. 17, 2001. Roy Williams was the coach at that time.

The longest stretch in the Larry Brown era was 25 days between home games. There was a 35-day drought from Dec. 14, 1974, to Jan. 18, 1975, in the Ted Owens era. Back then, however, fewer nonconference games were played, and KU generally was away from home a long time around the time of the Big Eight Holiday Tournament in Kemper Arena.

“It’s actually a good schedule as long as you can get through it,” Self said. His Jayhawks have lost at CU and Florida and dropped a game to Villanova in the Bahamas with wins this season over Louisiana at Monroe, Duke, Iona, Towson, Wake Forest and UTEP to go with Saturday’s 80-63 win over New Mexico in Kansas City, Mo.

“We probably lost a little confidence during a stretch. I don’t think that’s all bad. A lot of times you can camouflage weaknesses by beating teams you should beat, especially guarantee games at home. We’ve not had that luxury. Even in wins, we’ve been pushed. Those are good things. We will be pushed three more times without question. Even though they are at home, they will be hard games.”

KU will meet Georgetown (6-2) on Saturday, Toledo (9-0) on Dec. 30 and San Diego State (7-1) on Jan. 5 in the final three nonconference games on the schedule, all in Allen.

“Our next three opponents have a combined record of 21-3,” Self said, understating by a victory. “Toledo is still undefeated. We’ve got a chance to get some momentum by beating some good teams if we play well before conference play.”

After looking at the film, Self thought KU played well Saturday.

Junior point guard Naadir Tharpe celebrated his return to a starting position after a two-game absence by dishing nine assists against four turnovers and scoring eight points in 37 minutes.

“He is trying,” Self said. “I am probably harder on Naadir than I am anybody just because I think he should know. We have had numerous talks. He does know. He gets it. I didn’t think he was doing much to help the other guys, whether it be on the court or off the court. I got frustrated with him. We put him on the bench.

“The reality is, he didn’t react that well (to benching) so that was a little bit disappointing to me,” Self added. “We had a talk about that. The bottom line is, he’s as valuable a player as we have. He can play. He’s a great kid. He has to understand his value to us. He can’t take days off. He is the only one we have with any experience.

“Perry (Ellis, 21 points, nine rebounds) had a good game, obviously, and the big kid was terrific,” he noted of Joel Embiid, who had 18 points and six boards — 17 points the second half. “That was a good team. People will find out. They’ll either win the Mountain West or finish second, because the other team we play (from that league), San Diego State, will win it or finish second.”

Awards list: KU signees Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre are two of 10 high school players on the Naismith Trophy High School Player of the Year Early-Season Watch List, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Monday.

Alexander, 6-foot-8, from Curie High School in Chicago, and Oubre, 6-7 from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., are ranked Nos 4 and 12 nationally by Rivals.com.

Alexander has led Curie to a 4-0 record. He recently scored 22 points, grabbed 20 rebounds and blocked five shots against Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School at the Chicago Elite Classic. He scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in an overtime overtime victory against Chicago St. Rita. Through 15 games, Oubre (6-7, 200-pound) is averaging 24.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.8 steals.

Others on the list: Justin Jackson (North Carolina commit), Stanley Johnson (Arizona), Tyus Jones (Duke), Kevon Looney (UCLA), Trey Lyles (Kentucky), Emmanuel Mudiay (SMU), Jahlil Okafor (Duke) and Myles Turner, who is considering KU and others.

WSU wants KU series: Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall tells Foxsportskansascity.com he would like to schedule a series with KU — one game in Allen Fieldhouse, one in Sprint Center and one at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita.

“I’m not going to just be bought,” Marshall said. “I’m not going to go to Allen Fieldhouse for a check (as guarantee game opponent). We’d like to play home-and-home. Ultimately, we’ve got to put ourselves in a position where playing (the Jayhawks) or not playing them has no bearing on our success, and that’s what we’re doing. It would be helpful, but still, we’re putting ourselves in a position where it doesn’t matter if they want to play or not. That’s what we have to do. One day, when it behooves them, then maybe it’ll happen.”

KU currently has no plans to schedule WSU in men’s hoops.

“It’s out there that we will play anybody,” Marshall told FOX, “and the better the team, the better for us. And we’ll start on the road.”

Of KU he added: “KU doesn’t normally lose three games, especially this early — sometimes, they don’t lose three games all year. Give ’em credit: (They’re) playing on the road and playing a great schedule. It would just be nice if we were one of them.”

To read the FOX story, go to http://foxs.pt/19OOvh7

Comments

Jack Jones 4 months ago

As a Kansas Jayhawk fan since 1949 ~ with Forrest C. "Phog" Allens 1951 autograph ~ I've never completely understood our resistance to playing Wichita State. Sure we have played them a few times in the past, and even lost a couple of those games ~ but, I see no rational reason for our current position ~ and even some irrational ones listed here. Especially, when one looks at the non-league schedule of teams we have brought to AFH these past several seasons. It's time for us to 'get over' whatever it is that keeps WSU off our schedule ~ and acknowledge that they are a worthy ~ in all ways ~ basketball opponent.

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Aaron Paisley 4 months ago

Since Intrust opened, I don't know why KU doesn't play an annual game in Wichita whether it's against WSU or not. Playing a lower profile team there doesn't hurt KU much financially because they would still sellout and Intrust is only a couple thousand or so less than AFH, but I'm sure KU could charge extra for parking to make up for it.

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Brianna Zaleski 4 months ago

Oak,

1. I laughed out loud as I read this and now can't stop giggling. As a resident of the Air Capital city, I can attest that this is sooo true!!

Oak, you are consistently a breath of fresh air (pun intended) on this site. You always manage to keep things entertaining all the while staying above the fray. You also provide keen insight into our beloved Jayhawks that can't be overlooked... Anyway, thanks for the laugh this afternoon, I needed it more than you know!

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Tony Bandle 4 months ago

OAKVILLE ODDITIES;

1] Isn't Wichita, Kansas the city where the wind blows all directions simultaneously, all the time??

2] As I predicted yesterday...AWIII transfers[hope he doesn't], Brannen Greene leaves after 2/3 years and Conner Frankamp becomes the Kansas Tornado!!!

3] Benz...no offense, but losing to ANYONE is a big deal to KU!!!

4] Wait till the students see Jo Jo...they won't believe it's the same player. :)

5] VALUABLE HOUSEHOLD TIP: Install all black toilets and you'll never have to worry about a dirty bowl ring again.

6] My grandma worked on the internet and makes $23,400 an hour sending out fake recipes. Just go to www.youareanidiotifyoutypeinthiswebsi.... :)

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Benz Junque 4 months ago

Losing to Wichita State ISN'T a big deal. They are a good team. Kansas just doesn't want to miss out on games that open national recruiting doors. Games are too valuable. KU doesn't need local bragging rights.

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Ron Franklin 4 months ago

So, is AWIII transferring? If he doesn't play vs Georgetown, I believe the writing is on the wall.

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Kyle Rohde 4 months ago

I would love to see this series happen as Marshall outlined it. However, I can see it from Self's perspective, which is that there's nothing to gain by playing WSU, for KU. Win and it's what you're supposed to do, but lose and it's a big deal. Losing to WSU would be a bigger deal than losing to VCU because it's in the same state. It's unfortunate that the benefits to the entire state are outweighed by KU's own interests but also hard to blame them.

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Elias Dunlavy 4 months ago

I live in Wichita so I have to listen to all these people say how great WSU is all the time. WSU is a nice team and a nice program that has been on the rise for several years but they aren't on KUs level and wont be for the foreseeable future. Kansas has dominated in a power conference since iv been alive and I don't see that changing anytime soon

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Andrew Horigan 4 months ago

The only thing I really disagree with Self and KU bball about is not playing WSU. We are not the sole good basketball team in Kansas. If any of you forgot WSU was very, very close to beating the best team last year in the final four, while KU had been eliminated 2 games earlier. It's time to play WSU, the better they get the worse we look for not playing them, and right now, I'd have to say WSU is the better team at this point in the season. Now at the end of the year, I fully expect KU to be a much more dominant team, but at this point the Shockers look better. As Jack Wilson just posted, playing WSU in the roundhouse would be extremely valuable for the younger players. That gym is a tougher place to play than almost any place in the BIG12 except for ISU, OSU and maybe KSU, Play the Shockers!

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Jack Wilson 4 months ago

I'm always puzzled by the disrespect for WSU. We lose to Bucknell, Bradley, Northern Iowa, and VCU in the NCAA tourney, and we can't gain anything from playing WSU? WSU did happen to make it to the Final Four last season. Mid-majors, many times, have more experienced teams. Guys that may not have been as highly rated but have grown into men, and have had multiple seasons to hone their skills.

The exact same logic that Self is using now about a tough schedule, and making this team better, would apply to a home and home with WSU. Playing a so-called mid-major in their house would certainly be an experience that could aid a team in March.

I do understand that money is involved, scheduling, etc. And we need to do something that helps us with the indexes that are considered by the tourney committee.

I also believe that anything the draws attention to the state of Kansas ends up helping the preeminent state franchise -- the Kansas Jayhawks.

And at some point -- on the most basic level -- when the dude down the street keeps running his mouth, you need to shut it.

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Suzi Marshall 4 months ago

Self will play WSU when he feels the time is right.

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Steve Zimmerman 4 months ago

I think Marshal's comment is positive. WSU is no joke. They have a good bball team. They are not any different than Towson or SDSU, or SJSU or CU. It's not like KU is the only good bball team. Like this year's schedule, the tougher it is the better prep our team will be. Quality opponents only bring the best (exposure) out of our team. Bring it on!!!

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Jason Keller 4 months ago

KU would beat WSU by 20. Might be hard to believe right now with how KU has looked lately but if we played tomorrow, it would be ugly. Personally, I think it would be kind of cool to give all the KU people in Wichita a chance right there in town to see the Jayhawks, but it has to make sense from a program standpoint. KU is a heavyweight, prized fighter. You don't give someone a chance because they call you out in the media, you make them beat everyone else first. I think WSU is getting close but not yet. Make them earn it, Bill. If they stay relevant for 2 or 3 more years, then lets get it on.

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Brett McCabe 4 months ago

Did I miss the announcement that it is our job to help WSU build their program? The whining out of Wichita almost never stops, except for the ten-year periods when their program is average, at best. It's funny, all this clamoring to play us seems to only come when they are on the upswing.

This too, shall pass. Marshall, if he has half a brain, will parlay a good season this year into a job with a big-time program and big-time money. WSU will return to being an on-again, off-again mid-major.

By March, we'll see who has the better team and we'll see if WSU is as successful playing as a front-runner as they are as the underdog.

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