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Sunday, January 27, 2013

First ascent: Mountaineers, Huggins await Jayhawks

The West Virginia Mountaineer mascot, Jonathan Kimble, cheers during the first half West Virginia’s game with Kansas State on Jan. 12, 2013, in Morgantown, W.Va.

The West Virginia Mountaineer mascot, Jonathan Kimble, cheers during the first half West Virginia’s game with Kansas State on Jan. 12, 2013, in Morgantown, W.Va.

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— Someday, Kansas and West Virginia may become fierce Big 12 Conference basketball rivals.

As of today, however, the teams coached by Bill Self (two Final Fours, one NCAA title) and Bob Huggins (two Final Fours) classify as strangers preparing to meet for the first time in the history of the two proud programs.

“We’ve never made the trip to Morgantown. I hear it’s a great home-court advantage they have,” KU coach Self said of the atmosphere in 14,000-seat WVU Coliseum, site of today’s 8 p.m. ESPN Big Monday clash between KU (18-1, 6-0) and WVU (9-10, 2-4).

“We’ve probably got to remind our guys about shooting the musket off and scaring them,” Self added with a laugh.

It’s a tradition for the Mountaineer mascot to fire a rifle while leading the players onto the field for West Virginia’s home football games.

Who knows? Huggins may put in a request to blast the musket to wake up his struggling Mountaineers, who are in jeopardy of not making the NCAAs for the first time in Huggins’ six years at his alma mater.

“I guess, in all honesty, winning has become expected. Losing is excruciatingly painful,” Huggins said.

The former Kansas State, Cincinnati and Akron coach opened the season with a 709-268 career coaching record.

“My dad (Charlie, long-time high school coach in Gnadenhutten, Ohio) quit because the losing affected him so much,” Huggins said. “If you go back, they played an 18-game regular-season schedule. He averaged over 20 wins for his career, so he didn’t lose much.

“It’s hard. It’s like Saturday (in 79-52 loss at Purdue on Jan. 19). They take us off CBS (cut away late in game). We’ve done things I’ve never had anybody do. I’ve never had a team not compete like that.

“We’ve got guys jogging down the floor. At this time of year, I’ve never had to do that before (get on his players for lack of hustle). It was always ingrained. It’s been a struggle to ingrain how hard you have to compete. When you are the 21st-worst shooting team in America (39.5 percent), you’ve got to play hard. We’ve got guys, they lose, it doesn’t bother them.”

Huggins, whose team has lost at home to Oklahoma and Kansas State and on the road to Iowa State and Oklahoma State (80-66 on Saturday), explained the hustle issue.

“I believe you get out of this game what you put into it. I think Kevin Noreen is a good example,” Huggins said of the 6-foot-10 sophomore from Minneapolis. “Kevin physically is not near as gifted as anybody else on our team, but he puts so much into it. The truth is, he’s getting a heck of a lot out of it. He’s realizing his dream of playing big-time major-college basketball on television. He’ll have three majors and a masters (degree) coming out of here. He’ll get a great job coming out of here. He’s invested in it. If you don’t invest anything, why would you expect to get anything out?

“You can’t win the lottery unless you buy a ticket. You can’t get in the stock market unless you invest. If you don’t invest ... obviously the more you invest the more you get out of it.”

Some practices have been good this season, some bad.

“We should be in a stance snapping our head, slapping the floor. Instead, you go down, stand up and let guys go where they want,” Huggins said of his defenders. “They (Mountaineers) know better. You put them in a drill, they know not to do that. They’d wear that treadmill out. You get in a game, it doesn’t transfer for whatever reasons. A lot of that is personality.”

The Mountaineers, who average 67.2 points a game, have a balanced attack. Aaric Murray (6-10 junior), Juwan Staten (6-1 sophomore), Terry Henderson (6-3 freshman) and Jabarie Hinds (5-11 sophomore) average 9.6, 9.6, 8.0 and 7.9 ppg respectively.

“We don’t have aggressive people by nature. We have a whole bunch of laid-back, nice guys,” Huggins said. “They’ll do anything in the world for you. The reality is, a good portion of them ... this is not the most important thing to them. I am talking God, family and basketball, or like (Vince) Lombardi said, ‘God, family and the Green Bay Packers.’ That’s the way it has to be.

“It’s not that you don’t have fun. I tell them, ‘College is the greatest time of your life. Enjoy it, but take care of your business first.’ You’d be dumbfounded. When guys come in, they’re like, ‘Gosh, I’ve got no time, man. I’ve got class, study hall, lifting (weights).’ Let’s think about this, ‘You’ve got class three hours a day, study hall at the max two hours a day and lifting an hour. That’s six (hours). That’s 18 hours (free). I don’t know what’s wrong putting another hour or so in and maybe work on your game. You should have enough time to have some fun and get some sleep, you’d think.”

The colorful Huggins has a huge fan in Self.

“Huggs back in the league gives it an unbelievable element,” Self said.

“He has a typical Huggs team,” Self said. “They play fast (and) drive it, drive it, drive it. You’ve got to be able to guard the ball in transition. They’ll rebound it. It’ll be a very physical game, probably one of the more physical games we’ve played this year. We’ll have to play better, going on the road.”

Uncommon foe: KU’s Travis Releford on playing West Virginia for the first time in history: “At first, it’s not going to feel like a Big 12 game because we haven’t played in that building.”

How will they look?: The Jayhawks tonight will wear special jerseys provided by adidas. The “tone-out” jerseys have been described as featuring a “more aggressive Crimson and Blue.” They will only be worn during the West Virginia game. KU also will wear “tone-out” warm-ups and shoes.

Hinds due: West Virginia’s Hinds, a 5-11 sophomore from Mount Vernon, N.Y., has hit 33.3 percent of his shots (58 of 174). He has made 16 of 62 threes for 25.8 percent. He has 33 assists against 33 turnovers.

Last year, Hinds averaged 7.4 ppg off 41.9 percent shooting. He made 25 of 78 threes for 32.1 percent.

“I went 4-for-18 at Texas. I’ve got to find a groove, and I’ll be OK,” Hinds said. “My numbers have been down. It’s a mind thing, confidence. If I keep shooting, it’ll eventually go in. I’ll keep working on it and get comfortable.

“We stick together on and off the court. If we keep doing that, we should be fine,” Hinds added.

Comments

William Blake 1 year, 2 months ago

Oh my.... it's the John Steuart Curry's John Brown mural! What's it doing in West Virginia?

Sorry, but the Tragic Prelude belongs in a free state!

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Woody Cragg 1 year, 2 months ago

Maybe the most impressive element of all of HCBS skills is that he assembles his team so well each year going forward, He loses players every single year & comes back stronger it seems the next. He recruits as this is his strategy. We loose all 5 next year-I still think we're at least a 4 seed-minimum. Ellis will probably be the leading scorer, we have Green,Traylor, minimum in the paint, & White, Adams, & about the #2-3 ranked recruiting class even without Mr Randle. That, IMO is Mr Self at his best. That's why he is consistently at the head of the coaching class. So who cares if we sound like bandwagon fans. Just look at what he's getting done with the 4 spot by committee? When was the last "down" year we have had with Bill? 2004?

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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Since I'm usually seen (rightfully) as a "defender" of Bill Self--> I would like to clarify that a step further. Yesterday on another thread, this all came up, the UNI and VCU losses were mentioned, and then it felt too polarizing for a Self-supporter like me to be lumped into a category: 'you gotta treat Self like some god because he cannot do wrong'-type of box. My view is this: I am a huge admirer of Self's overall philosophy and player development, but I dont think 19-22yr old kids are going to win every game. UNI and VCU are realities of a OAD-Tourney. Happened to Duke. Happened to others. Sure as laws of probability, we will get bounced "earlier than expected" from some Madness sometime. That is inescapable. The plain fact of those 2 losses is that KU personnel did not defend (like usual) and did not shoot (like expected, even from designated-trusted senior shooters like Sherron (UNI) or Reed (VCU). We got dictated to in those games. Yes, its ok to armchairQB suggest fault in-game, as he can make mistakes too. Blame Self maybe for not changing the in-game mindset and mental intensity of those games, but we werent in the huddle, maybe he did try to no avail??? But I dont think it is a viable argument to assail Self on the entire philosophy that has made his the winningest Div1 program the last6yrs running. Love the concepts, but their-in lies the very reasons for our losses in those 2 games: "didnt do what we usually do". State that another way: in a 5 game series, we win 4...thats how flukey those losses were, imho. I would NEVER doubt the bigger picture of what Self is trying to have his teams do philosophically. That is NOT the reason we lost that game. Im sure Self+KU will lose some game somewhere in future March Madness tournaments...I'm not worried about that inevitable fact. Those analytical answers to "why did we lose?" lie in that L's gamefilm. Thats it. RCJH.

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KansasComet 1 year, 2 months ago

ICThawkfan316,

You are right, some post were sad. Still do not know how it struck a nerve with you? My post was about understanding what EJ is going through, appreciating all that he has done for us, and encouraging him through what has to be a difficult time for him. You were not one of the sad post or supposed fans that I posted about. No need to get upset. I would reply back to you, if I had an issue, rest assured. I enjoy reading your post and I can appreciate anyone's right to have an opinion. The funniest part about my post is that practically no one responded to my remember the lean years statement? I'm still puzzled by that? We are a spoiled bunch, but in a good way!

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Woody Cragg 1 year, 2 months ago

We were very fortunate to be involved in many charitable events and met countless interesting & neat people-Eddie & Sean Sutton, Max Faulkenstien, Gene Bartow, Dick Vitale, Tom Headrick, and scads of current (at the time) Royals & Chiefs players and coaches. Those were fun years especially for my kids, who were able to see first hand how much skill & hard work were neccessary to compete at a D-1 level. I'll never ever forget how squeaky & cartoon-like Byron Houston sounded when he tried to holler "Watch them elbows!" But he was a stud in the paint, think he played at Golden State after college. One of the funniest stories I've ever heard was from parents who's son was recruited by Norm Stewart. They said he chauffered them around campus in a scroungy, filthy old Caprice they said looked as if he'd hauled hay bales & chickens in the back seat. Originally their 6'-10" son was offered a ride, but they told me they couldn't get out of Columbia quick enough when Norm said he'd lost some schollies & wanted Rick to walk on. What?

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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

I personally am having trouble accepting all the "speculation" on this site lately about "EJ's knees". I mean, I recall vividly him trying to serve up a facial on short-shiz-Rodriguez of KSuck by crossing him up at the top of the key, and then launching just in from the FT line for a LBJ-style tomaHawk jam...Although he missed the dunk off iron, that was MAJOR cojones and hops on display right there! You dont even think to launch & land that kind of flight with a bum knee, much less 2 bum knees. Let me say this: watching EJ play the last 2 weeks, I see NO limitation on his play-->the missing golden info is what EJ himself may say if we could ask him directly, and if he is candid with his answer (Sherron never told anyone publicly about his pulled groin the whole 2nd half of his final season, until after the UNI game, when both he+Self admitted the injury hampered him seriously...). I get that you dont reveal your weaknesses, but again, one doesnt sky for a tomahawk jam on a bum knee.

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Woody Cragg 1 year, 2 months ago

The year they won the NC (early 90's) that Cincy team only beat UMKC by one at Municipal at the buzzer. Dumas & Schmitz were on Lee Hunt's team at the time. If I recall, Dumas went late 1st round to the Mavs & Ronnie tried out for several teams, Hawks, Bulls, Blazers, but had signifigant back issues so never was able to play pro ball. Too bad cause that kid could flat shoot the lights out. He was a participant in the in the 3pt contest at the Final Four & Dumas was in the Dunk contest That was the one year they probably should have had an at large bid. Played a really tough schedule-OSU, KSU, Neb, St Louis, Cincy, KU-not a great team but could have easily been a higher seed. Got to know several of those kids well, & they were fun to hang out with. Road trips were really enjoyable for my family, we made all we could for several years.

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Tom Longhofer 1 year, 2 months ago

Sounds like Huggins's current players are a far cry from those Samari sword wielding, coat hanger branding lads that he sent onto the floor in Cinncinnati. I wonder which team he prefers?

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ohjayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Never in a million years did I ever imagine my hometown would be mentioned in kusports.com. Amazing. Although, Charlie Huggins is definitely worth mentioning. He's one of the all-time best high school coaches in Ohio basketball history.

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Woody Cragg 1 year, 2 months ago

I remember that loss. Was a real "whuppin." Also I recall how they responded in the conf & dance tourneys. Self never had much trouble getting that group energized even though they couldn't hit the broadside of a boxcar vs OSU. Gotta admit it was butt ugly. But if that's what it takes to get another NC, I'm all for it. Wasn't that the year of the OT win vs Durant/UT in the Championship game?

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Steve Gantz 1 year, 2 months ago

This feels to me like Tennessee a couple of years back. While this is a conference game, it still kind of feels like an non-conference game. Tennessee in that game was having a bad season, had suspensions and injuries and there was no possible way our highly ranked team was going to lose to them.

Until we did.

We'll get their best shot. Probably won't be players jogging up the court like Huggy mentioned in the article. We're the team they really want to beat as the new guy in the league. Although their horrible shooting percentage combined with our outstanding defense means they might not break 40 points tonight.

And did that article really say Huggins has won over 700 games? I'd like to look that up, but I can't believe it.

And count me as one who says who cares what the uniform looks like as long as it says Kansas on it and it's got Withey, BMac and company wearing them.

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Redlandsjhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

ATTN: Off Topic Alert!!

Question to the board. Does anyone have any idea what is wrong with Texas? Seriously

I mean the team not the state. It's my understanding they have beautiful facilities, are

regularly successful in recruiting, so what's up. I know Rick Barnes is no Bill Self

but come on! Is it injuries? turmoil? Anyone know?

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Scott Smetana 1 year, 2 months ago

  • Wouldn't be so easy to criticize EJ if Tharpe wasn't playing so awesome and if our half-court offense was so stale.
  • Huggy seems like a cheeseball. He belonged at KSU.
  • I'm willing to give the new jersey's a chance... picture doesn't look THAT bad.
  • Yes, KansasComet, we truly have no place to criticize the Jayhawks, but it's our right:) We all agree that we're experts second only to coach Self. I don't like people saying we have no chance or game over before it's over. I remember about 5 people saying it's over in '08 when we lost at OSU.
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DanR 1 year, 2 months ago

It'll be the toughest environment of the season.

I hate to say anything negative about another team's fans, but WV fans are stupider than methzoo fans, more bitter than k-staters... and they all seem to have that asymmetrical ugliness commonly found in a shallow, moonshine-dulled gene pool.

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okiedave 1 year, 2 months ago

If the Mountaineers are allowed to shoot off those obnoxious muskets during BB games, Allen fieldhouse should be allowed to have bird droppings drip from the rafters on the opposing bench.

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HawkKlaw 1 year, 2 months ago

As for the jerseys, I'm a big fan of getting back on board with Nike. And while we're at it, we should do away with the atrocious Trajan font (definitely not representative of anything related to KU basketball) and go back to the ultra-awesome circus-y font of the 90's and early 00's.

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Woody Cragg 1 year, 2 months ago

Final weeks in the schedule may deal us a couple of losses, but I think we have too much defense for this to go awry. Ames & Stillwater are always tough, even without talent levels as they are now. Only way we tank this game is for Jeff to get in early foul trouble.

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mejayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm glad this topic came up. Just thinking recently, "I hope the ku players don't read these boards." Not suggesting we constantly heap praise on them, either. My personal ethic is I don't write anything on here I wouldn't want a player to read.

By the way, jaybate, I watched the OU game again last night with your recent KY musings in mind. He doesn't look hurt to me. That leaves personal problems and I think that's it. He played with passion, but the joy is gone right now. If he is having personal problems, I wish him the best in his struggles. On the other hand, maybe he's spending so much time in front of the mirror, checking out his fro, that his studies, class attendance, lifting, practice time and personal relationships are all suffering. If that's the case, I'd say, "Kevin, you gotta cut the fro."

RCJGKU

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 2 months ago

I hate to say it, but this is not going to be an easy game, let alone a blowout. I don't care who you are, or what your record is, you give KU your absolute best when they roll into town. And any Big XII road game is not a guaranteed victory.

Just ask Bill Self what his thoughts are on playing in Lubbock.

And this team has not been playing well as of late. Sure getting out of Austin and Manhattan was great, but you can sense that this is a team that is in need of a loss to get them more focused.

Defensively, superb as usual. But the turnovers and offensive inefficiency needs to get turned around in February.

Does West Virginia pull off the upset tonight? I highly doubt it. But these lethargic, careless streaks are going to cost us a win one of these nights.

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Woody Cragg 1 year, 2 months ago

I recall sitting behind the benches at Gallagher Iba in Stillwater back in the early 90's when the Cow Poke mascot was firing the blank pistol during TO's & & that was about the most God awful, unnerving thing imaginable-like it wasn't loud enough already. Does anyone know if OSU still does that? I thought it was really an unfair advantage, but what do I know?

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jgkojak 1 year, 2 months ago

I wonder if the travel is wearing on the players. It is not a good travel schedule for WV in the B12 - they don't have any 'bus' games (Pittsburg, Louisville) like they had in the Big East and its a long 9 game road schedule.

I also imagine the travel at some pt will end up impacting recruiting - if I have a choice of Va Tech, Pitt or WV, why am I going to WV? Unless I'm really into Huggins?

I predict that some day, WV will be out of the B12.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 2 months ago

No WAY is this going to be a game where we score more than 65!!!!! I've seen a lot of the WVU games already, and while they SUKK shooting the ball, they're one of the top 2 or 3 def. teams in the conference FOR SURE!!!....along w/ KU & UT.

I think it's going to be ugly & it wouldn't surprise me if this is our signature "ugly loss" for the year.

I'll stay positive and still pick us, but I doubt that it's going to look much different than our 59 - 55 win in Manhattan.

I'll say

KU 60
WVU 54

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Joel Hood 1 year, 2 months ago

"...You’ve got class three hours a day, study hall at the max two hours a day and..."

2 hours max?? Oh, that's right... this is the same game that ran the squeakly clean program at Cincy, where academics got in the way of giving a kid a hand up.

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 2 months ago

Thoughts on tonights game.

1] Rumor has it that West Virgina will be firing a musket after every Mountaineer basket...they will be using live ammo and will be aimed at the Jayhawks...luckily there won't be many shots fired!!

2] Coach Huggins will at some point in the game do his best Frank Martin imitation.

3] Mountaineer fans sport many fur caps including racoon, badger and skunk...unfortunately, most of the skunk caps are still alive!!

4] The concession stands serve Coke, Pepsi and White Lighning with refillable jugs.

5] Hopefully, the fade out jerseys rermain true to their name and "fade out" of existence as soon as possible.

6] Unlike some of the posters, I am finding it hard to criticize an 18-1 team that will probably be #2 in the country with the best coach, the best defender, the best venue, the best fans, the best chant and the best freshman in America......but that's just me.

7] If you want to see a Mountaineer fan's head explode, just tell them how great it is to be in VIRGINIA!!!

8] My fearless prediction, as long as their musket aim IS as crappy as their basket shooting, Kansas 80 - West Virginia 61.

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

"Some Hints about XTReme Wrinkles Bob Huggins Is Reputedly Developing for Tonight's Game with KU"

~Huggs has asked that Abraham Zapruder's 8mm camera be used to record a short portion of the game.

~DARPA has contracted with a legendary coach in West Virginia to test some of the cyborg attack insects powered by HAARP in Gakona.

~Charlie Partana doesn't know whether to ice Andrea Hudy, or marry her.

~Visitor's locker room reputedly fitted with several aerosol jets and plastic canisters from white, unmarked 747s often seen spraying barium Chem Trails in criss crossing patterns over Morgantown, West Virginia.

~An unmarked semi backed up to WVU Coliseum yesterday and off-loaded 16 cases of rubber bullets.

~WVU manager told police that Huggs forced him to wear a blue tone down jersey with the number 23 and let the Mountaineer team take turns tasing him at the trey stripe.

~Large blood drive reportedly going on in West Virginia this week with donors with blood types matching Jeff Withey's being given extra incentives to donate.

~Trap doors reputedly being added to WVU court this week.

~Bob's man bra underwires being electrified for when he chest bumps referees.

~Doomsday weapon reputedly installed this week under center jump circle and set to go off when ever KU separates by 10.

~Old buddy of Bob's in US Army Psychological Warfare Operations group called in to hack KU players' Nanos and fill them with "Take Me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

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Justin Kruse 1 year, 2 months ago

Hopefully it's a blow-out early and we see a lot of Jamari, Andrew, and Rio tonight. I think Jamari is going to be the man next year.

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

First Ascent headline makes me think this is going to be a many layered, Eddie Bauer kind of game.

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

jaybate Apparel Inc.'s Shizz Down Line of Practice Jerseys

jaybate Apparel Inc.'s Shizz Down Line of Practice Jerseys by jaybate

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Robert Brock 1 year, 2 months ago

Why are the Hawks wearing some ugly adidas "tone-out" uniforms for one game - and especially for THIS game? It seems rather absurd to me.

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

This is jaybate Apparel, Inc.'s proposed new practice jersey.

The marketing name is Shizz Down Jerseys.

It makes it so you can't see shizz on the jersey. :-)

The tag line for ads in industry magazines is:

"Shizz down, not up."

The IPO will be floated on the Pyongyang Stock Exchange tomorrow, or is that today across the iDateline?

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TexasRockChalk 1 year, 2 months ago

What does everyone think about KU's chances of breaking 60 points today? Over or under?

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clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 2 months ago

Anyone know the kind of shoes Coach Self was wearing saturday? The gray adidias with a sort of mesh look to them.

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justinryman 1 year, 2 months ago

Does anyone know what if anything KU is getting paid by Adidas to wear the "tone out" uniforms?

I just can't see them doing it for free.

I have seen other schools wear them this year along with some NBA teams on Christmas day, it is hard to see the numbers on TV and the names even harder to read.

1

Thomas Michaud 1 year, 2 months ago

The issue with the "tone-out" uniforms for Kansas is that the Red doesn't provide enough contrast to the blue. The colors are too similar in value and can be really annoying to look at for any length of time - basic color theory there.

If there was white piping around the letters, it would help. You can barely make out "Kansas" ... It works on other schools (Baylor and UCLA) because the colors (Black/Dark Green and Yellow (BU) and Blue+Yellow (UCLA)) have a higher contrast. Even take a look at the "Tone Out Practice T-Shirt" -- thank goodness for the small Jayhawk below the lettering because I have no idea what the text says.

http://www.kustore.com/style/NCAA-Tone-Out-Practice-T-Shirt/20431954

Tone Out Practice T-Shirt

Tone Out Practice T-Shirt by ColdCoffee

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Josh Galler 1 year, 2 months ago

I saw replicas at Kansas Sampler on Saturday, I like them. Not sure how they will look on TV but I like them

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Ben Kane 1 year, 2 months ago

I wish we were wearing the reds as well, we don't wear them anywhere near enough. I'm looking forward to seeing a blowout. we are due for one of those.

also, dont' be freaking out when we aren't number 1, it's of no significance. Joe Lunardi has us as the overall #1 on his bracket S-Curve.

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Lifelong_Jayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

I am looking forward to seeing how Kansas looks against West Virginia, and by that I don't mean the ugly uniforms. We ought to be wearing our red jerseys over there so that we stand out better against the fans wearing mineshaft blue and the blue background of the arena.

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KansasComet 1 year, 2 months ago

Kansas currently has the best basketball program in the country, hands down. I have read a lot of recent postings and it is really sad, from supposed die-hard KU fans. Elijah can't do this or do that is the comment that really bugs me more than anything. Elijah Johnson is the starting point guard of our basketball team. He is our floor leader, and as he proved during the NCAA Tournament last year, our insurance policy. He keeps the ball moving and tries to get everyone involved. He is also the first to criticize himself, when he is not playing up to his standards. It is so easy for some fans to say he can't do this or do that, when what we should be doing is encouraging him, because guess what, once the Big Dance starts we made need another clutch shot, defense play or great pass from him like we did last year so that we can survive and advance. Maybe he needs our support, more than our criticism? After all, he is one of us.

Comments about Elijah Johnson missing Tyshawn Taylor, I just don't understand. As much as I like Tyshawn, he was not always a good teammate. He could be a more of a distraction than a leader on and off the court. Jayhawk players have not received bad press this season, to my knowledge. No, I am not saying that is all on Tyshawn, but in my opinion, he could have been a better teammate instead of clashing with coaching and diminishing his draft stock. If we want to criticize EJ about his shooting, okay, but let's also heap praise on him for getting his team to an 18-1 record.

It is amazing that we are 18-1 after losing two impact starters and we still find something to complain about. Last years team was 26-5 after the Big XII regular season and had 6 losses going into the NCAA Tournament. Enjoy the ride and appreciate the fact that we are Kansas, and we have the best basketball program in the country. For those old enough to, please remember the lean years especially from about 1975-1983. We had some good teams back then, but that's all they were, just good teams. Nothing that really said National Championship. We have been really good to great for nearly 30 years, and by that I mean in the conversation.

Look at coach Huggins, begging for his players to show some "want to and fight". Have not had that problem at KU.

I know some won't agree with me, oh well. It's my opinion. Elijah Johnson is one of my favorite Jayhawks, and I love and appreciate his commitment to KU. He may not be perfect, but he is perfect for KU! His shots will start to fall, and he will show that leaping ability and get a nice dunk over someone, count on it.

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