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Friday, February 15, 2013

Mario Chalmers reflects as KU jersey retirement nears

Kansas guard Mario Chalmers elevates for a three-pointer in the remaining seconds of regulation Monday, April 7, 2008 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Chalmers swished the three to send the game into overtime.

Kansas guard Mario Chalmers elevates for a three-pointer in the remaining seconds of regulation Monday, April 7, 2008 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Chalmers swished the three to send the game into overtime.

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One of the loudest ovations on game day in Allen Fieldhouse the past five seasons has taken place prior to pre-game player introductions when a replay of the biggest shot in Kansas University basketball history is displayed on the center videoboard.

Tape of Mario Chalmers’ overtime-inducing three-pointer against Memphis in the 2008 NCAA title game leads to an ear-splitting ovation each and every time.

“I’ve seen it a couple times. It is one of the most amazing things I’ve seen before,” said Miami Heat combo guard Chalmers, who has attended just a handful of KU games — usually over NBA All-Star break — the past five campaigns.

“I’m not surprised,” he added of the reaction to the shot that helps fire-up the current Jayhawks and maybe rattle the opposition. “That shot helped bring a championship to the program. I’m sure people are going to appreciate that for a long time.”

The appreciation will never be greater than Saturday, when Chalmers’ jersey No. 15 will be hung in the south rafters of the fieldhouse at halftime of the 8 p.m., KU-Texas game. Chalmers becomes the first player off the 2008 title team to be so honored, thanks in large part to the shot, as well as his being named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.

“It means a lot to me,” said Chalmers, who will arrive in Lawrence tonight and will be one of several former KU players in the NBA in the stands Saturday. Marcus and Markieff Morris, Thomas Robinson and Nick Collison all have said they’ll attend.

“Being up in the rafters with guys like Paul Pierce, Drew Gooden, Wilt Chamberlain, it’s a great accomplishment.”

In a preview of his halftime speech, he’d like to thank, “all of my teammates, coaching staff,” he said. “You never forget your college experience. Those were three of the best years of my life. I made some close friends there. I just really became a man at that school.”

KU coach Bill Self, who will attend a reception for Chalmers tonight, said: “I am fired up for him. Mario is so loved here. I think he’s as liked or loved as anybody who has played here. Mario is such a unique guy. He was as ornery as we had, but he smiled and had that boyish grin. He was the perfect guy to coach because he loved the moment and the competition and still yet he smiled the whole time.”

Self has deemed Chalmers the most clutch player he’s coached.

“Absolutely. I would put Sherron (Collins) probably second,” Self said.

Also, Chalmers is, “the best stealer of the ball I’ve ever seen in my life. He anticipated as well as anybody.”

Chalmers is one of the few players to have won a state title in high school (Bartlett High, Anchorage), an NCAA title (KU in ‘08) and NBA championship (Miami Heat, 2012).

“It’s pretty good to say you have won on every level,” said Chalmers, who recently hit a Miami Heat-record 10 threes in a game. “They label you as a winner.”

Asked to which is the better feeling, being a starter on an NBA titlist or college champ, he said: “That’s a tough one. I would have to say maybe the NBA team because you are doing it at the highest level.”

As far as Saturday’s halftime speech, it figures to be short but sweet.

“I don’t know yet, I am still trying to get that together. This is all new to me so I got to come up with some stuff,” Chalmers said.

He said he definitely respects the jerseys that have been hung before his No. 15.

“When I saw them at my first Late Night (2004), I recognized a lot of them,” Chalmers said. “I was a big basketball fan growing up. I watched college basketball all the time because I knew I wanted to be there one day.”

League standings: KU, which has won eight straight Big 12 regular-season titles, will enter Saturday’s game tied for first with Kansas State.

“My wife (Cindy) was talking to me last night and she was saying ‘You know what? We’re going to win the league. We can still win the league (despite losing three of the past four).’ And I said, ‘I know babe, we can do this. But if we don’t, what would happen?’ She said, ‘I don’t know, I don’t know, I can’t remember (not winning title),’” Bill Self said, smiling.

“It’s one of those things that everybody around here is judged on the postseason. Don’t you guys (media) feel like the league titles, in past years, take second place to everything else? We won eight in a row but it’s ‘What have you done for me in the postseason?’ We understand that. But now that we’re tied for first, it’s like the sky is falling if you don’t win the league. Later on, you guys (media) are going to say it didn’t really matter as much. But it matters to our players and it matters to our staff and I know it matters to the fans, too. Certainly, we care so much about it. We’ve obviously made an emphasis of it to be the best in our league for a long time, or the guys wouldn’t have experienced as much success as they have. But I’m not putting pressure on the guys to win the league, I’m putting pressure on our guys to get better.”

Romantic dinner?: Self planned a Valentine’s Day night on the town with his wife, Cindy. “I imagine there are more romantics out there than me,” Self cracked. “We’ll go to dinner. There’s a band playing in town my daughter and daughter’s boyfriend are trying to get us to go to tonight and see. Who knows? We may really live it up tonight on Valentine’s Day.”

Selden honored: KU signee Wayne Selden, a 6-5 guard from Tilton (N.H.) School, will play for the East team in the McDonald’s All-American Game on April 3 in Chicago’s United Center. No other KU signee made the game.

Randle to visit this weekend: Julius Randle, who will make his official recruiting visit to KU this weekend, didn’t make the McDonald’s game because he’s missed most of the season because of injury. Randle, a 6-9 forward from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas and the No. 2-rated player in the Class of 2013, has a final list of KU, Kentucky, Texas, Florida, N.C. State and Oklahoma. His mom, Carolyn Kyles, told USA Today that Julius will return to action tonight on Prestonwood’s Senior Night. He fractured his foot during the second game of the season. ... Anton Beard, a 5-10 junior point guard from Little Rock, Ark., who had been committed to Missouri, reopened his recruitment Thursday. He has a list of MU, KU, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, LSU and Michigan.

Comments

Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

JayHok, I dont know if that Travis Ford story of calling Bill Self a "sawed off little t--d" is true, or just a really good bulletin board material-generation attempt (in which case I applaud you), but if it really is true, Self should somehow let the team learn the sordid little details without being involved directly. The KU players will be out for blood in Gallagher-Iba. Regarding Self/T.Boone/OkieSt nightmares people keep having, they can let those thoughts pass quietly in the night--> Self not going to any other college...unless he gets fired at KU. Roy left for just about the only position that made sense for Roy Williams to leave KU for (home & family, and UNC "family"). Even with that, it was still a lateral move...and Bill Self's excellence at KU after Roy left has guaranteed that Roy's was a lateral move. No, Billy-from-Okmulgee will not go to Duke, nor will he go to KY. I personally think the way Self rides his players, he may not wish to personally massage-&-service NBA-level egos...(what he is quoted as saying to the Henry bros. after Jan. 1 of the Henry's year, in front of the entire locker room, just about crystallized my opinion on Self's strength-of-rule over his team--> he is every bit in charge of the whole show, just as much as little-Napoleon-Roy)-->all of this from direct KU player quotes...and also NOT refuted by Self, unlike Gidden's quotes which Self took the time to directly bull-dozer, calling J.R.'s comments "outright lies". Draw your own conclusions, jayhawks, but I've drawn mine. I'll keep BigBadBill as long as we can!

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Pamela Shanks 1 year, 2 months ago

And now for something entirely different, KU's Harlem Shake:

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mikehawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Travis's job is sitting on top of the Tipping Point. Beating KU was a big deal to saving his job. The rest of the season will either provide a new contract, or should OSU finish weak, T-Boone makes the call. If Ford goes, know it will always be a touchstone gesture with each OSU coach's departure that Bill gets a chance to name his price to come home. I don't think he would go, but it adds unneeded stress in my life I don't really want. Living here in Oklahoma where I can throw a rock and hit a Poke fan in any direction, (if I miss it hits an OU one) know every OSU alum has secret fantasies about Coach Bill coming home to be their new Mr. Iba. T-Boone knows it would be the crowning achievment to his legacy of what he has done to help his alma mater stand toe to toe with the Crimson and Creme in Norman.

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

"Random Thoughts about Travis Ford"

~Travis Ford is to coaching what a thimble of spit is to an ocean.

~Travis Ford will try to kick you when you are up.

~Travis Ford sees success in one win among many losses.

~Travis Ford is not only not a Lincoln, he is not even a Smart4Two.

~Travis Ford's middle name is Bilbo.

~Travis Ford dreams in 1/3 scale and achieves in half scale.

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JayHok 1 year, 2 months ago

ESPN wrote about Travis Ford and his hope of stealing a Big 12 championship from Self. Here's a few reasons Self should take Ford's hope personally. 1. Ford played for Kentucky. 2. Ford played for Mizzou. 3. Ford recently called Self an unmentionable name multiple times while viewing tape of the OSU-KU game to the delight of the OSU players. Ford used his pen to thump the TV screen where Self stood again and again to the delight of his players. 4. Ford claims publically to respect Self. The only way Self can gain true respect from Ford is to beat him time and time again.

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Sally Presson 1 year, 2 months ago

Personally I think Julian was sick he jumped to the NBA too soon and missed out on the Championship. I was lucky to get to see the KState game, I do wish I was going to be at the Texas game and see the twins, Thomas, Mario get his jersey retired and hear his speech, the house will be rockin'. Allen Field House is the absolute best, the fans, the band, our video department. I can never get enough of watching those videos and hear the crowd roar. Saturday night will be awesome, and especially when we win!!!

Rock Chalk!!!

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 2 months ago

Straying from the theme of the article, BUT how about BEST & WORST KU Basketball games you've attended.

For BEST I'll have to go with that 34 pt. turnaround mentioned above over UCLA at home.

For WORST I'll have to go with the loss to UNI in OKC! :( Yes, I was at that game.....at least I wasn't at the Bucknell one years earlier though.

***Now my memory only goes back MAINLY to the '90/'91 season - though I watched the '88 championhip & was rooting for KU over OU....BUT these would be the BEST & WORST that I could imagine.

BEST = EITHER the Champ. Gm. in San Antonio OR the remarkable HUGE turnaround against the UT team that had Durant & Augustin.

WORST = well, I'd give a list: Bucknell, Oral Roberts, VCU or TCU. Yeah, I don't think Bradley stings as bad since they won the next round as well. I think that was also the first season FULLY depending on the new guys - Chalmers, Ju. Wright, et al. The Bucknell loss was a team that was mostly Miles, Simien, Langford, etc.

UNI or Bradley would probably be in the 5th & 6th spots though after the 4 above.

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 2 months ago

This is all well and good, but can we get an article about tomorrow's game?

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Steve Gantz 1 year, 2 months ago

Mario remains one of my all time favorites. Even before the shot, I absolutely loved his leadership, his ability to take the big shot, his outstanding defense, and his smile while playing.

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

Part 3

Ridley, Lammert, Holmes, Papapetrou, and Bond give them 5 guys 6-7 over over with 3 that are 6-9 or taller. And Prince Ibeh at 6-10 is another. Frankly, Texas has too much depth with too much muscle for KU to handle if Kabongo can force help in the paint.

Yep, this game comes down to whether KU can keep Myck from forcing help.

If KU keeps Myck out of the paint, then KU is long enough inside to guard Texas straight up, get its share of the boards and transition some.

But if Myck gets inside and forces help, then KU can't release and so there won't be easy transition baskets.

Texas in my opinion could become the best team in the Big 12 by the end of this month, despite the awful problems they have had this season.

The drink has been sitting there waiting for a straw.

Its got one now.

KU may get lucky and catch Myck and his bigs before they have worked the kinks out.

Watch out, KU.

I can't yet make a prediction on this one.

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

Part 2

Still, Coach Self's other choice is to go the committee route and add Travis Releford to those guarding Myck. But even Trav will find guarding this snail darter difficult.

But I suspect he will have to take a turn on Myck.

Ben could do some smothering, too, but Self has now made clear that keeping the jump in Ben's quads is paramount so that Ben can be counted on for accurate jump shooting.

So: its up to EJ, Dir and Trav.

And we need them to succeed, because Texas proved last time that when they mudded it up with KU, they could stay with KU even without Myck.

Texas was a win, but looking back, Texas Rick Barnes, long recognized as coach who teaches physical defense, probably was the first one to show how to alternate between hooking KU's skinnies and shoving them, across the board.

The hook on a skinny team is so effective. Look at Nick Krug's photos and you will see endless examples of KU players being hooked with opponent's arms. Strong players can hook skinny players and they don't even need to body check them.

The drill goes pretty much like this. Hook KU the first 5 minutes till the referees start swallowing their whistles, then body check, punch and shove till the refs decide to start using their whistles again to fit the game in the window. Then hook when they are blowing their whistles again. Then body check, etc. when the whistles get swallowed again. Repeat. And expect this pattern with the Kabongo lead Longhorns.

The game comes down to this: if Kabongo can force help, then KU is in deep doo-doo. Why? Because once our guys have to give help for a the point that has penetrated the paint, then Texas' greater muscle will begin to hook and shove Jeff Withey out of blocking position. Once he is out of blocking position, their FG% goes up to 45-50. At that point, they swagger and start beating up out guys on the defensive end. Our frequency of good looks tanks. They muscle Ben till he hears footsteps. They win.

Will KU continue to try to play free and run a good bit, as they did against KSU?

That depends.

KU could out rebound KSU and so KU transitioned early and often.

Why could KU out rebound KSU? Because KSU's 5 was 6-7 Gipson and their 4 was 6-7 Southwell. So: Gipson had to have double team help when the ball went to Jeff. When you double team the post, it is very difficult to release an extra guy early to get numbers in transition. So: KU could run much of the time.

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

"jaybate Intelligence Estimate: Tayhoss"

Part 1

Myck Kabongo is back and KU will wish he weren't.

Rick "Granny" Barnes mixed a drink called a Longhorn Box Car that packed some punch, but the lost the straw to stir it.

When KU played Tayhoss last, the drink was unstirred. KU's shaky point guards could actually acquit themselves satisfactorily against Tayhoss then.

But then was that and now is this: Myck is a swizzle stick that stirs.

Myck is a point guard Self wanted bad; that bodes poorly for KU.

Self may have trouble signing top point guards, and he may play them out of position when he gets them, but he sure as heck seems to know them when he sees them.

A most recent case in point was 6-4 225 lb Marcus Smart of Okie State. Smart beat down our guards with brute force. Self wanted him baaaaaaad.

Now 6-2 180 lb Myck Kabongo may not use brute force on our guards, but he certainly has the kind of speed and deftness of distribution, and hand quickness to cause our current pair of water treaders--EJ and Dir--to be in danger of drowning.

This is going to be a great test of how far EJ's knee has progressed, and how far Dir has developed.

EJ with knees would choke Myck off. EJ with straps with blue bulls eye hubcaps where his knees used to be could have real trouble hanging with an angle changer like Kabongo.

Dir gave us hope with his guarding of McGruder, but I am not sanguine that his defense of McGruder proved anything more than Dir can do a very good job of up and under against a guy who's game hinges on coming off screens, not driving the paint and forcing help, as Kabongo appears to have been doing since coming down the birth canal.

Let's put it this way: if Dir can keep Myck from forcing help, then KU is gold at the point for two years and all the incomings might as well start thinking about backing him up, or asking to play the 2.

But something tell me that Dir is not going to be able to contain Myck on his own, much less lock him down.

And remember, 5-11 Dir gives up 3 full inches to Myck. Three inches, even six inches, are not a lot to give up to a guy that comes of screens, because you can up and under him.

But three inches to an angle changer, a jitterbug on caffeine, a snail darter on epinephrine, now that is tough for a guy to handle.

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iamakufan 1 year, 2 months ago

"League standings: KU, which has won eight straight Big 12 regular-season titles, will enter Saturday’s game tied for first with Kansas State."

  • Probably should add Oklahoma State to that. It's a 3-way tie.
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Jonathan Allison 1 year, 2 months ago

I never realized that Memphis was an adidas school.

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KU_alum_2001 1 year, 2 months ago

As I said in my 'Seldon - McDonalds' post, I think it's a long-shot that we get either Wiggins or Randle (especially Randle) but how amazing would it be if we got both. Could you imagine that team next year? Yes, I realize that what I'm doing right now is about the same as envisioning what I'd do if I won ther lottery but still, it's fun to dream.

And before anyone says we only have one scholarship to offer, that's clearly open to modification if both those guys were to choose to attend. It's happened before and would happen again. It's a shame they're not both coming together this weekend. Oh well.

Like I said, though, I don't think we have any real shot at Randle and think it's small on Wiggins but I hope you fans that can attend the game show them an incredible experience, not that it's ever NOT an incredible experience.

Fingers crossed we can convince at least one of them to dawn the crimson and blue, especially now that BMac has proven that superstars can exist in Self's system. Rock Chalk!

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Michael Auchard 1 year, 2 months ago

Not sure if anyone here has noted this as well in the comments, but Randle is NOT officially out of the McD's game. The organization released a statement saying that if he plays amazing basketball to finish out the season, once completely healthy, he will be added to a roster. This is not unprecedented, as the organization did something similar in both '1979 and '80. Got this info off of the kentuckysports.com. Let's get this guy and potentially double up our Cheeseburger Game players.

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Ferd Magellan 1 year, 2 months ago

I hope all our fans in attendance tomorrow understand the importance of the Julius Randle visit. He is not going to be the face of whichever program he chooses, but he is going to make them very hard to defend in the paint. He needs to be shown more love from the fans than any KU recruit before him. We're in desperate need of help down low, especially with Jeff and Kevin leaving. Ellis, Traylor, Lucas and Embiid can't be expected to carry the load next year. Randle is someone who can convert the easy layups and dunks better than any high school prospect in this class after Wiggins. We need him much more than NC State, UK and Florida. Texas in my mind should be our only competition.

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mejayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Rewatched that 08 Championship dvd a couple of times during "the slump" and it helped. It really really helped. And how spoiled are we? We lose three games in a row and think the sky is falling. Dangitt, we should win the ncaa Championship every year. Right? Thanks Mario

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 2 months ago

I will be at the game on Saturday and for those of you who haven't been to Allen in recent years, let me give you some tips.

1] The Booth Hall of Fame almost makes you cry with pride as you walk through it.

2] The Hall Walk of Fame under the west seats, I think, overwhelm you with an incredible array of photos.....some even life size.[God, Wilt was huge}

3] The Dr. James Naismith Court...enough said.

4] The student sections....just as crazy as the Dookies but our coeds are a hell of a lot prettier.

5] An afternoon game with the sun shining through the windows. No other place like it on this planet.

6] The noise...you literally can yell at the top of your lungs at the person 12" away on your right or left and they can't hear a word you say...and this is in the alumni section!!

7] The Nachos and the Lime-Aide...best concessions in the universe.

8] Oh yeah, the team is pretty good too!! :)

Kansas 81 - Texas 62

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William Blake 1 year, 2 months ago

Congrats to Rio! They'll have to add Sherron beside his...

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REHawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Gary, you might rewrite that LEAGUE STANDINGS paragraph. No need to offer Okie State some vitriolic bulletin board material.

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REHawk 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm curious about that pregame video. Is the entire sequence shown, including Sherron's fabulous pass? I've always felt that THE PASS did not receive full credit in terms of popular esteem and praise for completion of THE SHOT.

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Chris Shaw 1 year, 2 months ago

"The Shot"! One of the Top 3 shots in NCAA history and IMO it is #2 all-time, but as a Jayhawk Fan...It will always be a #1.

For those wondering, I think Keith Smart's in 1987 gets the top spot.

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

"Some Ways You Know a Game Is Being Fit into a Broadcast Window"

~Refs start winking at Jay Bilas and saying, "The supervisors of officials now say its okay not to call use of lethal force above the waist."

~Refs wearing body armor and packing heat keep asking, "How much time do we have to trim to slot this baby?"

~The game is not stopped to clean up the teeth in both lanes.

~Spleen ruptures are treated as incidental contact.

~Announcers other than Bilas call concussions "hair mussers."

~Refs wearing Ostrich Nikes stick heads in buckets of sand every other trip down the floor.

~No fouls called for less than three units of blood loss.

~Director keeps shouting into Jay Bilas' ear piece, "STFU about fouling. We need to get to Sports Center by 5."

~Supervisor's of officials discovers a horse's head in his bed, then sends out email to officials stating, "Big Vinnie wants scheduling elegance again."

~Plasma drips set up behind home and away benches, as referees out on the floor put on blindfolds.

~Navy SEAL teams infiltrate play for combat simulation.

~US military surgeons preparing for the Iran War come to the game in scrubs to practice treating the XTReme Fouling victims.

~Bayhawkaholic swears, "TV executives only love human interest stories and PSAs. All violent content attributable to the People. Bad, bad, bad, bad, evil people. TV executives good. People bad!"

~BigManU believes refs "fitting games in the window" is all a conspiracy theory hatched by Freemasons and a Julia Child doppelgänger still embeded on the Food Channel.

~jaybate, targeted by a HAARP ray bounced off the excited ionosphere, shouts, "This is the best refereeing I have ever seen. This is the best refereeing I have ever seen. This is the best refereeing I have ever seen."

(Note: all fiction, of course. No malice.)

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 2 months ago

Curious if Wilde & Sudeikis will make it for this game - heard how they'd gotten engaged a month ago - hope that makes Olivia a Jayhawk fan for life now. :)

I think their only trip this year was for the American game.

The year before they didn't make it to AFH & went to the Davidson game they lost at Sprint Center, right?

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 2 months ago

Still weird to think of that team and there only be ONE player who's starting in the NBA and even he gets relieved quite a bit - Mario.

Arthur - first frontcourt reserve for the Grizzlies.

B.Rush - out for the season; but was playing behind rookie H.Barnes at SF for the Warriors before he did get hurt.

And Aldrich - only in for "mop up" time for the Rockets

Those four are it. D.Jackson's had some short trial stints but I think isn't with a team now.

I'm not sure Kaun even wanted in the NBA - think he wanted to play back in Russia anyway.

Sherron couldn't stick.

I think Ru. Robinson's been overseas.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 2 months ago

Picture also shows that it was pretty good D played on him - not just some wide open "gift" shot.

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tis4tim 1 year, 2 months ago

I've always suspected Mario was a vampire. The headline finally puts that rumor to rest.

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edmondjayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

I love that picture also...no way does it look like he makes that shot from that angle....looks like it's gonna miss way right...Glad for Rio also that he just keeps getting better and better in the league...Well deserved!!!

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Michael Pannacciulli 1 year, 2 months ago

I guess guys like B. Rush, Shady, Darnell, etc are playing elsewhere this Saturday?

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Michael Pannacciulli 1 year, 2 months ago

Is Bill doubting their chances of winning, or just being Bill?

Did anyone run into the Self crew last night? ;)

Psyched for Mario - glad you will join the legends.

If College Game Day, the retirement of Mario's jersey, all the ex-players returning, and all the other events don't win over Randle - nothing will.

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nuleafjhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

“You never forget your college experience. Those were three of the best years of my life. I made some close friends there. I just really became a man at that school.”

Listen up, Ben !

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KansasComet 1 year, 2 months ago

This is a well deserved honor for Mario Chalmers. Hopefully the first of many from the Coach Bill Self era. My thoughts are when Randle sees this ceremony, if that does not convince him to commit to KU, I don't know what will? Then again, maybe thumping Texas will help?

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Cmill1221 1 year, 2 months ago

I love that you can see Julian Wright in the front row looking up at the ball in that picture. That picture will forever be apart of KU history. It's really amazing that whenever KU basketball history is talked about that moment will come up. And for the next 75 remaining years of my life I will need to deal with the fact that I was watching from a UNLV dorm room. :-(

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BainDread 1 year, 2 months ago

At the end, as my life flashes before my eyes, I am certain that the last thing I see will be "The Shot". Thanks for the memories, Mr. Chalmers.

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