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Monday, March 4, 2013

Finale four: Four KU seniors to say fieldhouse farewell

Four Kansas University seniors — Kevin Young, top left; Travis Releford (24); Elijah Johnson (15); and Jeff Withey (5) — will make their final Allen Fieldhouse appearances tonight.

Four Kansas University seniors — Kevin Young, top left; Travis Releford (24); Elijah Johnson (15); and Jeff Withey (5) — will make their final Allen Fieldhouse appearances tonight.

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Four Kansas University seniors — Kevin Young, top left; Travis Releford (24); Elijah Johnson (15); and Jeff Withey (5) — will make their final Allen Fieldhouse appearances tonight.

Senior superlatives

Elijah Johnson

Helped KU to a spot in the NCAA title game his junior year by averaging 13.3 points in the postseason. Scored 39 points in KU’s overtime win over Iowa State on Feb. 25.

He said it: “It’s been a fun experience. I grew up (at KU). I had a chance to meet a lot of good people who came through. It was a transformation kind of thing.”

Self said it: “ I think he’s a much better basketball player (now) than he was when he got here. You look at all these NBA players: They’re freaky-athletic in their first five years in the league, then they become great the next five years because they’ve learned the game goes in slow motion, it’s not in fast-forward anymore. I think he’s (Elijah) become one of those guys.”

Jeff Withey

Had amazing two-year run in which he became the all-time leading blocks leader at KU and in the Big 12 (281). Recorded the second triple-double in KU history with 16 points, 12 rebounds and a school and Big 12-record 12 blocks vs. San Jose State. He was one block shy of a second triple-double Saturday vs. West Virginia.

He said it: “I am not too emotional. Hopefully I won’t cry or anything like that (giving senior speech after game tonight). I don’t know how I’m going to feel. I’m sure after the game it will hit me all at once.”

Self said it: “I think he’ll play in the league (NBA) awhile. He has a great attitude. He’s fallen in love with basketball. He has become a sponge. He’s so bright.”

Travis Releford

Emerged as KU’s defensive stopper the past two seasons while becoming a reliable scorer on offense. Has amazing 59.0 shooting percentage this season.

He said it: “It takes a little push to go a long way sometimes. I feel that little push is taking me far right now. ... I think I’m going to break a record for the shortest speech ever. I don’t like to do the talking. It’ll be crazy with the fans.”

Self said it: “Travis is our best defender. He’s a winner and competitor.”

Kevin Young

Emerged as a top-10 rebounder in the Big 12 at 6.9 per game. Provides hustle and energy.

He said it: “This is a dream come true to play on the biggest stage, in front of best crowd. It doesn’t get any better ... we (seniors) understand what it means to sit out and wait for your turn. It’s our turn now.”

Self said it: “He’s been far more than what we thought when we signed him. What a great kid.”

For Elijah Johnson, four years of college basketball have passed in the blink of an eye.

“Sometimes I think, in order, freshman, sophomore, junior, senior ... it’s a big blur,” Johnson, Kansas University’s 6-foot-4, 195-pound senior point guard out of Las Vegas Cheyenne High, said of his days as a Jayhawk.

“Once it starts, it never stops. It makes me appreciate it. This is a good place to be. I wouldn’t go back and go anywhere else.”

Johnson — who scored eight points in 17 minutes against Hofstra in the first home game of his KU career in 2009-10 — today plays his final game in Allen Fieldhouse with fellow senior starters Travis Releford, Jeff Withey and Kevin Young.

Tipoff for a Senior Night battle between KU (25-4, 13-3) and Texas Tech (10-17, 3-13) is 6 p.m., with a live telecast on ESPNU (Knology Cable channels 35, 235).

“This is a great place to play, a great place to be and live,” 6-6, 210-pound Kansas City native Releford said of KU and Lawrence. “It’s gone by so fast. I’ll miss this place, but I think it’s about that time. The end has to come.”

Releford, who red-shirted in 2009-10, is completing a five-year KU career. He’s approaching the 1,000-point scoring standard (he has 880) that coach Bill Self predicted for him at the team banquet following Releford’s red-shirt season.

“When he said that, I said, ‘Wow, that’s crazy,’” the former Roeland Park Bishop Miege standout said. “It was like, ‘How can I get that many points if I’m not playing?’ As time went on, I thought, ‘This guy knows what he’s talking about.’”

Withey, a transfer from the University of Arizona, played 31⁄2 seasons at KU, and Young, a transfer from Loyola Marymount, the past two campaigns.

“I’ve enjoyed the process,” said Withey. The 7-foot, 235-pounder from San Diego’s Horizon High, has gone from being a seldom-used pivot his freshman and sophomore seasons to KU’s all-time leading shot blocker thanks to dominant defensive play his junior and senior campaigns.

“I had some growing pains for sure, taking a little bit of time to get used to the speed of the game in college,” Withey said. “When I was younger, I thought I would have just been in San Diego (all his life). After I started growing and playing basketball, I obviously saw this sport can give me a lot of opportunities. I’ve been blessed with the opportunities at hand. I transferred here, and everybody accepted me. I love it (KU) so much.”

Young, who most expected would be a super sub, emerged as a starter who definitely proved he could compete at the Big 12 level.

“My goal has been to provide energy in games and practice, try to make everybody around me better,” the 6-8, 190-pound forward out of Perris (Calif.) High said. He loves Lawrence so much he helped convince his mom, Alicia, and brother, Donovan, to move to Lawrence for his final semester of college, knowing they’d like it here, too. “With our senior class, it’s all been about leadership, trying to help the young guys. It’s been our focus.”

KU coach Bill Self has appreciated the giving approach of his senior class.

“Our young guys love our seniors, who are unselfish,” Self said. “Our older guys want Ben (McLemore, freshman) to be the best player on our team because when Ben plays great ... we know he is different (in terms of raw ability). I think it is pretty cool to have guys that bust their butt for four or five years and get to their senior year, they just want to win, so they want our young kids to do well.”

KU’s four seniors possess the talent to play basketball for a living, Self said. Withey, who along with Johnson has a 125-17 record at KU (.880), is expected to be tapped in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft. Johnson has been mentioned as a possible second-round pick. One could envision both Releford (152-25 record, .859) and Young (57-11 record, .838) getting looks in NBA summer league ball if they are not selected in the second round. Europe also is a strong possibility.

“They are going to play ball next year,” Self said. “Their whole focus is leaving a legacy. I think they want to be the team that has done something special because there are so many special teams that have been there before them, and that’s how they’ll be judged over time (how they perform in Big 12 and NCAAs). I think it’s a little bit different for them, but I know that they all respect each other, immensely, as they are going through the process.”

Johnson said the seniors do not think of each other as elder statesmen, but just four pieces of a 16-person team.

“This is a special group,” Johnson said. “Not the most talented, but definitely one of the toughest. I think we can do something a lot of teams weren’t able to do. Although we had three and four lottery picks on certain teams, I think this team can do something we haven’t been able to do before.”

This, that: Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 prospect in the high school recruiting class of 2013, will attend tonight’s game as part of his official recruiting visit. The 6-7 senior from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, who arrived in Lawrence with his parents Sunday afternoon, is considering KU, Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida State. ... Texas Tech snapped a nine-game losing streak Saturday by beating TCU, 72-63, in Lubbock.

Comments

surfingjayhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm over 40, and every morning I drink coffee out of a mug with a big bird on it. It motivates me to work hard, be selfless, and kick ass with class. There is nothing better than being a Jayhawk.

Thank you, seniors, for keeping it alive.

0

jayhawkliz 1 year, 1 month ago

Thank-You seniors for a great year! Good luck always in the future1

0

Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

Note to a very promising young Jayhawk (Rio "Tweet" Adams): See quote from Releford above: "As time went on, I thought this guy (Self) knows what he is talking about". Think about that for a long time. No 1 player is bigger than KU basketball (or the traditions of Duke, UNC, KY)...thats why players want to come here--> to be a part of something bigger and something that wins BIG. Please think about this, young Anrio! We need you next yr, you will be awesome!

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 1 month ago

I predict a bit of a ragged first half since actually this will be the last game for ALL FIVE of the starters in Allen.

TT may keep it close if we are distracted but Kansas will put up a bit of a cushion , get chewed out at halftime and come out and dominate in the second half.

Of course, we could just dominate in the first half and have back to back "Coaches Sons Games"!!!!

0

Born_And_Raised_A_KU_Fan 1 year, 1 month ago

These four seniors are the embodiment of everything that is good about college basketball. They may not have been the most talented players, and they weren't the most ballyhooed players coming out of high school, but they paid their dues, put in the necessary effort, earned the respect and trust of their coaches, and achieved beyond what the so-called experts thought was possible. Or, to put it another way, what they lacked in talent they have more than made up for in toughness. They will be dearly missed at Kansas.

0

JayhawkRock78 1 year, 1 month ago

Thank you seniors for all you've delivered this year. Most likely Ben is leaving too. Godspeed. You'll all be in Jayhawk hearts forever. Have fun tonight, and keep those wins coming.

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Sam Constance 1 year, 1 month ago

Man, the Jayhawks men's bball team has really tugged at the heartstrings these last few years. Between the tragedy and FOE from 2010-11, to last year's Heart Attack Hawks to this year's mid-season turmoil and seeming ability to come through it stronger, there is so much to be proud of about Kansas Basketball.

To EJ: Congrats on finding yourself these last few games. You have my admiration for never quitting, even when it seemed like half of the fanbase was quitting on you. Prophecy sometimes has a strange way of coming true, which is a fitting description of how you came to put up one of the most memorable performances in Kansas Basketball history. You will always be the Prophet.

To Jeff: I was excited from the moment I heard we had gotten you from AZ. I don't think I had much basis, but at the time I thought you would eventually be the heir apparent to Cole's goalie skills in the paint. Even when it looked like you might not be able to find the drive and strength to be a integral part of a good KU team, I held out hope. You seemed to show flashes of brilliance, and when you finally figured it all out prior to the 2011-12 season, I still couldn't have possibly expected what you have become. All-time blocks leader for the Big 12 and Kansas. Simply amazing. And now it looks like you will probably surpass Mr. Aldrich in terms of productivity in the League.

To Relly: When you came here as a freshman, I couldn't decide whether I was more impressed by your athleticism and ability to score on the fast break or more appalled by your lack of defensive discipline and inability to work in the half-court offense. When your redshirt year came, I was worried Self saw the same one-dimensional game and that a transfer might end up how your KU career ended. Now you leave the school with a pretty good shot to get drafted, because of your hard work and dedication to improve two parts of your game that were all but nonexistent five years ago. Defense and stellar spot-up distance shooting. Any wing player with your size, ability to play in the fast break, defensive stopper ability at multiple positions and 40% from trey is worthy of the League.

To Kevin: My fan relationship with you is more tumultuous than most. Even as recent as earlier this year, I was convinced that you needed to be bringing your raw energy off the bench to lead the second unit and allow Perry to start (he had recently shown signs of life). I've come to realize that the best way to describe your game and why it's so helpful is "CHAOS". It may occasionally result in mistakes and stupid plays, but more often than not, it results in a good play and it's also infectious to the rest of the team. I don't think this team becomes as active as it has without your presence. Of course we can't forget your contribution to last year's runner-up team.

Thank you to all of you. It's been a treat to watch you grow and I won't soon forget these teams that you played on.

0

juke4jay 1 year, 1 month ago

A great group of seniors, AFH is going to be rockin tonight! I am lucky enough to have ticket in hand, and getting ready to head that way to catch the game and cermonies. RCJH!

0

Dale Stringer 1 year, 1 month ago

Why (in the articles pictures) are Withey, Rel and EJ in their away jerseys when its talking about their last home game?

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niemoth 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm not worried about the hype of Randle just yet as Selby had the same hype, especially after his first game against USC where he saved us. I'd rather be concerned about this year still. It will be extremely huge for us to have Georgetown lose again. If they win out, they will get a 1 seed, and because they cannot go to the DC bracket with it being at their home court they will be forced to the Dallas bracket and we may have to go to DC (assuming we get a 1). There is nobody in the top 16 (discounting ksu and osu cause they won't be able to be in same bracket) that is even close to Dallas. Kansas fans flock to Texas and we would basically have home games through our first 4 games if we can get the Dallas bracket. I'd rather have a 2 seed in the Dallas bracket than a 1 anywhere else, but at the same time think it would be huge to get a 1 seed because the 2's and 3's this year are much better than the 4's (don't see to many teams after that top 12 that are that scary)So here's to hoping Nova can win at home this week or for Syracuse to get some payback and win at Georgetown this weekend.

0

Chris Shaw 1 year, 1 month ago

For the first time in a long time I'm starting to feel optimistic about the Randle recruitment. Randle will single handily be the biggest recruit since Danny Manning at Kansas because of the "Impact" he'll have from Day 1.

I also believe that Julius Randle by his presence, deameanor, and "Swag" turns Perry Ellis into a future All-American. Kansas doesn't have Julius Randle type of personality on this year's roster. Heck, Kansas doesn't have a Wayne Selden personality on this roster either.

Andrew Wiggins, you're going to love your visit, but the Kansas fanbase isn't dumb. You may have the most potential, the higher ceiling, and #1 ranking beside your name, but Julius Randle is the player that fits Kansas' needs the most. You're a fantastic player Andrew Wiggins, but the red carpet has already been rolled out for Julius Randle.

2

Sally Presson 1 year, 1 month ago

We are going to miss you 4 seniors, but thanks so much for sticking with us for 4 years. You guys are the best and have given us many many wonderful games. I wish you the best in whatever you set out to do after graduation. I know you will succeed in whatever it is

Rock Chalk!!!

0

GortHawker 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm going to miss these four guys, I'm worried now, who do we have that can take the scoreing load next year? We don't have four guys that can score 30 between them. This has been a great year whatever happens from here out, "Go Hawks"

0

Joe Baker 1 year, 1 month ago

Well here's to getting Randle folks-

A note for those schools, Self talked with Mayberry in the hallway outside the lockerroom and was long-gone before Randle came out. No bump.

Pretty meaningful signal from Self, for a game which didn't get over in Dallas-Fort Worth until 9:30 p.m. Friday and Kansas has 1 p.m. Saturday home game vs. West Virginia.

http://www.ihigh.com/vypedfw/article_159693.html

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1552066-julius-randle-ranking-every-suitors-chance-to-land-top-basketball-recruit - This is a fairly neutral piece. I think it's fair to Randle's choices and fairly accurate.

If not, let's hope that Wiggins commits to KU. If uk gets both Randle and Wiggins, I'm doing my own investigation.

0

Chris Shaw 1 year, 1 month ago

Kansas up to #4 in the AP poll

K-State up to #9

Okie State up to #13

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/ncaa/men/polls/

1

kennethst 1 year, 1 month ago

If KU is a #1 seed.....Is it right that we may play MU in 2nd round in KC?? I don't like that.

0

Woody Cragg 1 year, 1 month ago

It has been a wonderfully gratifying experience for these kids to become young men and develope their loyalties to the University of Kansas. Even Ben was here long enough to understand the tradtion of excellence that is Kansas. Though he will be leaving also, I truly believe he wishes he didn't have to.

Each year about this time the older Jayhawk faithful will get sentimental knowing that the kids they've supported and followed will move on to bigger & better rewards somewhere else, but are equally as content knowing that the changing of the guard is the necessary rite of passage. Each young man that travels through the portals of this institution seems to embrace the realization that the times they spend in Lawrence are really the best years of their lives, but now are prepared for greater challenges and rewards well beyond the wheat fields that surrounds it, & more than ready to meet them with confidence and perserverance. Other great kids will replace them whether it be a Randle, Wiggins, or a Piper & Moody. All will have the opportunity to make their mark here, there, & well beyond because this is Kansas, and above all else they are treated like family, whether it be good times, bad times, heartaches or tradgedies, and they all know that is an allegiance that will never end. If the chips are down, as most of us will endure through the years, they'll always have a place to return to to right the ship and gain their bearings again. They'll journey from near and far to live and learn on the rocky old hill, but the most important lesson they take away when done is that there "really is no place like home." And they'll always have one here at Kansas. Thank you, best wishes, sincerest congratulations, and good luck always to our senior class and to Ben McLemore. The light is always on & the mat is forever out, so please come back & visit whenever you can. I'll never forget the feeling that came over me when Wilt Chamberlain said, after so many decades had passed, "Now I know why they say, Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk." .

1

Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 1 month ago

Take care of business in Waco. And wish Oklahoma State the best of luck.

If we surrender the conference title to K-State, the season is a failure; unless, of course, we win the National Championship.

Do what must be done, boys. Let's wrap this baby up.

0

Chris Shaw 1 year, 1 month ago

Some good stuff on Randle and Wiggins:

http://www.kentucky.com/2013/03/03/2540551/uk-recruiting-handicapping-the.html

Also, love the fact that Self was in attendance Friday night for Randle's 40 and 15 night in the State Semi-Finals.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/high-schools/boys-basketball-news/headlines/20130302-tapps-boys-state-tournament-roundup-prestonwood-standout-scores-40-in-win-over-john-paul-ii.ece

Bill Self Quotes:

http://www.ihigh.com/vypedfw/article_159693.html

"Kansas coach Bill Self did the shake-and-hug with Prestonwood Christian coach Chris Mayberry after Prestonwood senior Julius Randle scored 40 points in a private school state semifinal.

"That was great coaching," Self told Mayberry. "Outrageous."

Self watched from the front row of the second level. Self is so well-recognized at Prestonwood games he doesn't even have to wear Kansas gear. Self wore a very nice light colored button-down with vertical stripes.

Kansas is a front-runner to get a commitment from Randle, who said this week that he'll likely make a live, nationally televised announcement on ESPNU the early part of the week of the NCAA tournament. Prestonwood is out of school the next two weeks with semester and spring breaks. Randle also is considering North Carolina State, Texas, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Florida. A note for those schools, Self talked with Mayberry in the hallway outside the lockerroom and was long-gone before Randle came out. No bump.

Pretty meaningful signal from Self, for a game which didn't get over in Dallas-Fort Worth until 9:30 p.m. Friday and Kansas has 1 p.m. Saturday home game vs. West Virginia."

2

clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 1 month ago

This team could have easily lost 3-4 more games, but they didnt. The streak could have ended at 8, but it hasnt. We could be looking at 4-7 seed, but we are not.

Thank you guys for not giving up and never quitting.

Rock Chalk

3

Steve Yeakel 1 year, 1 month ago

What a great group of seniors, what perseverance, what character, what heart. I hope they are rewarded with a victory and big send off tonight, a Big 12 title, and the national championship, to end up being among the greatest teams we ever had. This team has more talent than Danny and the Miracles, they are Ben and the Never Quits.

0

jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

Hubris? Not a story or comment about TTech? Ozymandian karma?

Where is stupid Michael when we need him?

In the website, posters come and go Talking of BenMacangelo...

We grow cold, we grow cold Do we wear our tube socks rolled? Do we dare to dunk a peach?

Will the Techies catch us napping Out of the cradle endlessly passing?

Dull heads among emotive senior spaces

Traumnovelles in sneakers endlessly trying to make it home through nightmares of the third kind?

Refunkified?

Eyes wide dunk?

Put some rock back in the chalk before The Techies cat us sleep in.

stupidmichael redeem us

0

Tony Bandle 1 year, 1 month ago

Random Thoughts.

1] Among many good things about this group, not one of them will come even close to matching the halfway time mark of Wayne Simeons Senior speech!!

2] Honestly, I think all four have a good chance of making money in basketball post college...outside of Jeff, however, for the rest of the guys the best chance may be to go across the ocean.

3] I know it's impossible but during warm-ups, just for fun, it would be so cool if BenMac came out in a jersey with Wiggins name on it!!!

4] Any chance the team does a final "Harlem Shake" at center court??

5] Nightmare scenario...we get beat by Baylor and OSU beats K-State and we have triple co-champs.....oh wait, is Scott Drew still the Baylor coach???...he is???...NEVERMIND!!!!!

1

justinryman 1 year, 1 month ago

These guys will get a chance to play again. But just in case they don't, they will be leaders in whatever they take on.

They have all been through some tough times, dealt with things that most college kids don't have to. Talk about getting ready for life after college, these 4 seniors will succeed in whatever they do in life.

They have fight, they have moxy, they have swag, they have leadership, they have "it". They grew up not only as players under Bill Self & Co. but grew up from boys to young men.

So happy for them, just wish they could all play "one more year! One more year" one more year!"

1

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 1 month ago

Kind of light Senior Day or Night next year.....just Niko Roberts & Justin Wesley.

0

FearlessJayhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

Congratulations to all four players for staying with it. I'm sure there are a lot of players in the NBA who wished they had stayed in college, instead of declaring early and spending years in the developmental league. What most of these athletes don't realize is that years from now when their pro careers are over and they are doing something else, the memories, or the wishful memories of their college days will always be there. No one can take that away from you.

2

Chris Shaw 1 year, 1 month ago

What a great night this is going to be! Every Senior has their own milestone they are trying to conqueor and together they are trying to accomplish 9 straight Big 12 Championships, 15 All-time Final 4's, and Kansas' 4th Championship. Let's Do This!

-Relly currently has 880 career points. He's 120 points shy of 1000.

-EJ currently has 874 career points. He's 126 points shy of 1000. He's also trying to break the all-time School record for career wins. EJ currently has 125 All-time Wins at Kansas. Sherron Collins had 130 All-Time wins and Tyrel Reed I believe has 132 All-Time wins.

-Jeff Withey currently has 281 career Blocks. He's 19 blocks short of 300 for his career. Considering Withey has really only played 2 years...that is an amazing feat. That deserves a Bob Davis "Wow".

-Kevin Young currently has 994 career points in his career if you add his two years at Loyola Marymount. He has 346 career points at Kansas. What's awesome about Kevin Young is that he has 713 career rebounds together at both Loyola Marymount and Kansas and he is averaging almost the same amount of rebounds his first two years as he is at Kansas in almost half the minutes played. That deserves another Bob Davis "Wow"!

Going to be a great night! Rock Chalk Jayhawk

3

Adam Gerval 1 year, 1 month ago

What's funny about tonight is that we won't have to adjust our starting lineup at all.

5

KansasComet 1 year, 1 month ago

I plan to enjoy every minute of this very special Senior Night! This group exemplifies Team, Toughness, and Commitment. Congrats to Jeff Withey, Kevin Young, Travis Releford, and my main man Elijah Johnson. I always believed in you. You are a special young man!

2

clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 1 month ago

Looking back at April of last year the big question mark was "who would lead this team?" With 4 seniors there were still some question marks, and honestly even EJ wasn't that person, I think it was done by committee. Now after the last two games this is EJ's team, and we as a team are playing through him. I think we as a team have an identity now, and now we can go out an just play.

Hope there is some good video from the speeches online. Thank you guys all so much for all your work and dedication.

Rock Chalk

0

VaJay 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm gonna miss.....

Withey's dominating swats & steals to start the fast break & the "WitheyFace" after a big play

Young's hustle plays, fabulous inside passes to Withey, and that smile when he's just done something good on the court

Releford's fast break finishes at the rim, deadly 3 balls, & glue-like defense that just takes the wind & effort out of the other team's top player

Johnson's silky drives to the hoop with the soft lay-in high off the glass, and that incredible ISU game - one of the greatest individual games I've witnessed by a Jayhawk

4

ccarp 1 year, 1 month ago

This team is an extemely unselfish team that can move the ball and play D with high energy. I also love the toughness and experience they possess. I think this squad may also have 2 lottery picks as well.

3

Dee Shaw 1 year, 1 month ago

Great Seniors for 2013. Great group of young men. Proud that these athletes most importantly will be graduating here in a few months with there degree in hand.

3

TXChalker 1 year, 1 month ago

Thanks also have to go out to Coach Self and his assistants for knowing what each of these men would bring to the program and nurturing them to where they are now. I'll have lasting memories from this year. And getting to see this team beat Texas AT Texas was most gratifying. They did not give up. I'm 2-0 on seeing us beat Texas AT Texas!
Rock Chalk Jayhawk

1

mojayhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

Toughest team we've ever had. Biggest heart. Starting the NCAA tournament last year, we have seen a group of men who never quit, never give up, play to the last whistle (yes even when it's an exclamation dunk, EJ), and have been a Mirror of Coach Self's toughness and Superlative Coaching.

Thanks guys! You have been and still are a pleasure to watch. I'm looking forward to the next 11 games! It will be all over way to soon.

Rock Chalk!

6

MinnesotaJay 1 year, 1 month ago

It's easy to love this group. Their effort and dedication is truly appreciated. Wishing all the guys great lives after KU.

7

phogphan2000 1 year, 1 month ago

This is probably my favorite senior class KU has had. Maybe I was just a bit too young yet to really appreciate some of the other great senior classes KU has been blessed with during my lifetime, but these guys are great. Much love for the classes of '88, '93, '97, '05 as well.

This group showed so much heart, from not getting any minutes, to being role players, to turning into stars. I was bummed when Releford red-shirted (I think because of Xavier coming in) 'cause I felt his defense might be the difference in winning a title that year. Now I'm glad 'cause he's been such an important part of the program this year. How do you not love a guy with his ability that sat a year for the team and plays so hard. EJ was a star coming out of HS and stuck with HCBS and KU when he didn't see the floor much. He and TT took on so much last year basically having to take on all the guard responsibilities between the 2 of them with an unready Tharpe on the bench. He's the heart and soul of this team. Withey came in and I'm sure had to listen to naysayers who were down on guys like Chenowith and Padgett in the past and didn't think he'd bring anything to the table. Have we ever seen more progress from a KU player as with Jeff between '10-11 and '11-12? How great is it to see the confidence he plays with? Then Kevin Young who probably had way less hype than a number of recruits that never even suited up for KU. Talk about attitude making all the difference in this world, his enthusiasm and energy add so much to a team. As much as others contributed to KU over the past 2 seasons, how much better has the team performed having Young on it?

I just feel KU is so fortunate to have these young men at the university, and I will cheer them on in all their endeavors this season and beyond. Whether they win conference title #9 in a row, whether they make back to back FF's, they've left a mark on this KU fan and hopefully on future KU teams for years to come.

4

BainDread 1 year, 1 month ago

This is one of my three all-time favorite Jayhawk teams. The other two won national championships. Please let me experience a third NC, guys. Thank you Jeff, Travis, Elijah, Kevin and Ben, and best wishes for your future endeavors in basketball and life.

3

nostradavid 1 year, 1 month ago

You guys are an awesome team of seniors. I've had great fun watching you play this year, and I hope the fun doesn't stop. (When was the last time the Jayhawks started 4 seniors for most of the season?)

Have a great time like the original Fab Four ...

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE by nostradavid

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stm62 1 year, 1 month ago

These guys made up for a relative lack of talent with great effort. RELEFORD: Kept the faith, knowing his time would come. WITHEY: Who would have thought ? JOHNSON: Emerges from great adversity to become the catalyst to another final four ? YOUNG: Blue collar. He showed what great energy is all about. Without him, who knows ?

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Joseph Bullock 1 year, 1 month ago

We are Blessed to have men with such class in our program! I am Honored to say I am a Jayhawk fan, with young men like Travis, Jeff, E.J., and Kevin, playing for us. Rock Chalk, and let's keep going strong! Great Season!

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Larry Smith 1 year, 1 month ago

Nice Job Fellas. Let's go out with a bang!

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