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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

Larry Smith 1 year, 8 months ago

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

wrwlumpy 1 year, 8 months ago

We now have the seasoning of seniors for the tournament similar to what VCU and Butler were like the last two years, except we have MacLemore and and a much tougher schedule and conference than they did.

Joseph Bullock 1 year, 8 months 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!

stm62 1 year, 8 months 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 ?

JD Roth 1 year, 8 months ago

I agree, I have no idea where these people come up with this lack of talent crap.

nostradavid 1 year, 8 months 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

BainDread 1 year, 8 months 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.

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 8 months ago

Same here but the NCAA tournament is such a wild affair. Our guys need to be focused, menally and physically tough, and lucky. Fortunaly these guys have proven many times over they are mentally tough and make their own luck.

Curtis Stutz 1 year, 8 months 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.

MinnesotaJay 1 year, 8 months ago

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

mojayhawk 1 year, 8 months 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!

TXChalker 1 year, 8 months 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

Dee Shaw 1 year, 8 months 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.

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 8 months ago

Um....I thought that Withey technically already graduated after the fall semester?

ccarp 1 year, 8 months 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.

VaJay 1 year, 8 months 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

clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 8 months 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

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 8 months ago

I don't know about "EJ's" team....I think they still "take turns". Most often EJ, Ben or Withey's the one leading with it EVEN being Releford or even 1 or 2 x Tharpe on occasion.

KansasComet 1 year, 8 months 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!

justinryman 1 year, 8 months ago

I'm not sure what year it was but I think Roy tried to start all 6 seniors once and was warned of a T if he didn't pull one before the tip.

TxJyHwk 1 year, 8 months ago

Actually, it was against Missouri, and he talked to Norm Stewart about it before the game. I don' t think they gave a technical

RJ King 1 year, 8 months ago

I don't remember a Missouri game, but he definitely put 6 seniors on the floor against K-State in 2002 (see link). I also have a visual of Roy taking a technical, and the game opening with two free throws from the opponent. (But maybe I had just imagined that it might lead to that??? Memory fails me.)

Chris Shaw 1 year, 8 months 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

RJ King 1 year, 8 months ago

Are the wins total team wins during the time the player was on scholarship, or are they only wins in which the player had minutes in the game?

Chris Shaw 1 year, 8 months ago

Total Team Wins! As long as they sat the bench. Red-Shirts don't count.

FearlessJayhawk 1 year, 8 months 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.

actorman 1 year, 8 months ago

"I'm sure there are a lot of players in the NBA who wished they had stayed in college,"

Like, perhaps, Josh Selby (cut today)?

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 8 months ago

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

justinryman 1 year, 8 months 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!"

Tony Bandle 1 year, 8 months 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!!!!!

justinryman 1 year, 8 months ago

I was laughing at your last sentence, then I realized it was even more funny when you called Scott Drew a coach.

nuleafjhawk 1 year, 8 months ago

Come on Oakville, give credit where credit is due.

That was some masterful coaching at the end of the K-State game Saturday.

LQTM

justinryman 1 year, 8 months ago

His inability to figure out how to either run the clock out or play D, puts him in the same category as Rick Barnes.

Neither could coach their way out of a wet paper sack.

jaybate 1 year, 8 months 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

Tony Bandle 1 year, 8 months ago

Texas Tech is the most dangerous team in America. They've actually won a game and now know the taste of blood. I am scared everyone will be so distracted by Senior Night, we'll just start doing Harlem Shakes in the locker room all night and forget to show up and forfiet!! :( :( :( :( !!!!!!

How's that, JB??!!?

jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

Perfectamente.

stupidmichael and I wring our hands for you, too. :-)

Steve Yeakel 1 year, 8 months 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.

clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 8 months 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

Chris Shaw 1 year, 8 months 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."

Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 8 months 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.

Woody Cragg 1 year, 8 months 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." .

kennethst 1 year, 8 months 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.

clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 8 months ago

I hope kentucky and missery dont even make the field, but that may not happen

Chris Shaw 1 year, 8 months ago

Missouri being an 8 or 9 seed potentially playing in KC against the Jayhawks in the second round is almost a lose/lose for the Jayhawks. I do not want to see that happen.

niemoth 1 year, 8 months ago

yes it would be nice to see Missouri drop a few more and fall out of the 8/9 seeds

jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

KU easily best team in country last few games.

I have no flipping idea how KSU beat Okie State, or is ranked 9th.

Okie State is probably Number 2 behind KU.

Smart, Cobbins and Brown could easily propel Okie State to Final Four.

WETSUhawk 1 year, 8 months ago

K-state deserves their #9. Lost at Iowa State, worst loss and we know how tough winning at Ames is. Two losses to KU, one to Michigan, and Gonzaga. Both KSU and OSU can go far in the NCAAT, if we win out we should see one of them again in B12 tourney.

Which one would you rather see? My vote is KSU.

jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

KSU is a pretender.

It will show soon.

Chris Shaw 1 year, 8 months ago

Jaybate, take your "Homer" glasses off for a minute. You and Rece Davis should have some tea together considering Rece Davis had the Wildcats 19th, which is obsurd.

Even though Kansas matches up well K-State...Kansas does not match up well with Okie State. K-State deserves a Top 10 ranking. Outside of their Kansas loss in AFH a few weeks back, they are on a roll.

Kansas still has a lot of work to do. An OT win against Iowa State that also gave up 79 3 point attempts in 2 games is cause of concern. A 1 point OT win against Okie State who matches up great against Kansas could have gone either way.

Kansas in the "W" column may be perceived as one of the best teams in the country, but they still need to get everyone clicking on all cylinders at the same time come Tourny Time. 3 point defense is still a disaster and it showed against WVU despite the the blowout "W".

You aren't gonna want to hear it, but Duke with Ryan Kelly is the team to beat.

kennethst 1 year, 8 months ago

If Ryan Kelly plays like he did on Saturday......Duke will be very hard to beat. Not impossible, though. Miami came very close(and did so on the road). I would also add that if Ben plays like he did on Saturday.....then many would say KU is the team to beat.

Chris Shaw 1 year, 8 months ago

Agreed! But Miami has a chance at the Final 4 and WVU does not. Miami has a bunch of 22 and 23 year olds on their roster much like Kansas does.

Ryan Kelly spreads the floor for Duke and allows Plumlee to get easy buckets in the paint. Duke is a bad matchup IMO for Kansas and that's all because of Ryan Kelly. I really didn't think Kelly would be back this year, but now that he is...it's time to focus and raise the bar.

jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

Part 1

Ohhhh nooooooo, BigManU drank the Duke coolaid!!!!!!

He took the Durham drug.

He's chasing the Wachovia dragon--the North Carolina nicotine cartel has addicted him to tar. Save my BigManU. Save him!!!!

For god's sakes, the next thing we know he's going to be talking about East Carolina and UNC-Charlotte's chances and saying anyone that doubts him is into conspiracy theories about Gonzaga.

"Ricky don't lose that number/ you don't wanna call nobody else..."

Quick, this is one of my favorite board rats. This is a guy who does his homework. Help me, help me, help me, I think I'm going insane!!

Duane Allman has returned from the dead and forced BMU to listen to brother Greg till BMU went out of his head.

Donald Fagen and Walter Becker have encumbered him with Pretzel Logic sent deep into Dixie and deep fried in some Piedmont humidity.

"Tonight when I chase the dragon, The water may change to cherry wine And the silver will turn to gold Time out of mind

"I am holding a mystical stone It's direct from Lasa (er, Raleigh) Where people are rolling in the snow Far from the world we know..."

Its like BMU stayed one too many nights in Athens, Georgia and surfaced harmonizing with Mikey Stipe:

"Its the end of the Hawks as we know them, And I feel fine..."

I am become Rece Davis, champion of eunuchs by BigManU's mainlined words during his decent into free basing Duke Dust. Don't make me watch one of my favorite board rats bend the spoon, light the torch and get the surgical tubing.

For god's sakes, give me one of Doris Duke's oedipal broaches she got from Lono in McGarrett country, so I can put my eyes out!!!

Cast me out, Henrik, cast me out!!!!! I can't bear another moment of your Ibsenesque dramas portraying BMU laying in a tobacco lab in Dukeville being rewarded with nicotene by some doktor named Sven of the South for learning to hit the blue buzzer with the Blue Devil logo on it.

John Kennedy Toole has risen from the buried above ground dead in New Orleans and co-written a lousy sequel with Anne Rice to his magnificient "Confederacy of Dunces." Ignatius J. Reilly has become LeStat's lover and both have gotten hold of BMU's mind and turned him into a lover of Johnny Reb in Uptown. Myrna Minkoff doesn't even get a mention!!!!

Make it stop. Make it stop. MAKE IT STOPPPPPPPPP!!!

Call 911. 911! Quick, send the paramedics. Get one of my favorite posters a stomach pump and SAVE HIM!!!

KansasComet 1 year, 8 months ago

Any post laced with Steely Dan references is alright with me. Let's hope KU will "Do it Again!" and win another National Championship! Thanks!

jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

Part Due

If we don't pump him soon, next he'll be saying Roy's Boys are going to make a run for it, because Roy's Sear's Double Knit powder blue blazer is so chic!!!

BMU can be saved. SAVE HIM! SAVE HIM! SAVE HIM! We need him for the run to the ring.

Ahem.

Seriously now BMU, Ryan Kelly will have the same kind of shooting day against Jeff that Anthony Davis had against Jeff, and Kelly won't cause nearly as many problems on the other end. And this year, we will not be playing Dook with EJ needing knee surgery and Travis on one ankle. Oh, and we're going to have the best player on the floor in some guy named McLemore.

Flook will not know what hit them, when EJ and Ben both go off for 30 plus on them, Jeff gets 10 blocks, and 12 reebs, Travis gets his quiet 20, and KY does his usual 12 and 8. Oh, and Naadir will drain the treys and by the time it is time to beat down Duke Perry will add 12 and 8 to the mix. And when Coach Consonants starts with the cheap shotting, well, KY will lower a shoulder and drive block which ever Dukie is hot and XTReme Cheap Shotting and we'll do a little forearm smashing and that will be that.

Next.

P.S.: KU will beat the snot out of Duke, if we play them this year, as long as we are healthy.

P.P.S: Hell, BMU, we got all the way to the finals with two starters that could barely walk, and managed to make a game of it against the best semi-pro team ever allowed to play in the March Madness. Duke? Don't make me laugh.

jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

Part tre

P.P.P.S.: Now its time to get hold of yourself, BMU. You're with the people that invented the college game. You're with the free staters. You're with the people that grow wheat and feed people. You're with the people with the best tradeoff between FG% defense and awesome perimeter scoring in the country. You're with the people that are from the conference that is always the most underrated. You're not with the overrated slavers and the cancer stick peddlers that have killed millions and turned out lawyers like Dick Nixon and other bottom feeding ambulance chasers that made their living defending cigarette companies. You're with the greatest coach in his prime, not with the greatest coach past his prime. From the moment Elijah Johnson got healthy enough to guard and shoot back to his average from trey and go to iron, KU went from being just another Top 10-15 team to being the best. Period. End of discussion. I am down with this team now. And if Okie State doesn't get put in KU's bracket, and if Okie State stays healthy, it could easily be KU and Okie State in the finals.

P.P.P.P.S.: The only teams for KU to worry about are Indiana, Michigan, Georgetown and Louisville. Aridzona and Michigan State are my dark horses, simply because once no fouls are called in the Madness, butchering sociopaths like Ratso Izzo and Stumpy Miller, are made about 20% better by the referees being told by the supervisors of officials to swallow the whistles for the entire game, rather than just the regular season half the game, as per Jay Bilas' reputed remarks about conference supervisors of officials telling refs to limit the fouls to around 35, while coaches coach teams to foul 60 times a game.

P.P.P.P.P.S.: There is absolutely zero chance the BigManU takes illegal drugs. This was all in fun to shake him into regaining his self respect that those dirty devils south of the Mason and Dixon have temporarily stolen from him.

Rock Chalk! :-)

sleepy33 1 year, 8 months ago

That is the strangest looking top 25 I've seen in awhile.

Joe Baker 1 year, 8 months 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.

RJ King 1 year, 8 months ago

BigManU beat you by over an hour. (see above). But good intentions always appreciated. :-)

Chris Shaw 1 year, 8 months ago

A couple of years ago Self went to John Wall's High School game (I believe in Springfield, MO) and Self happened to see John Wall in the hallway and apparently said "Nice Game" or something along those lines during a "No Contact" period for recruiting.

I believe Friday night when Self attended Randle's game was also a "No Contact" NCAA recruiting period. Just a friendly jab at Self's supposed "Bump" into John Wall a few years back.

http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/6271764/13097515

GortHawker 1 year, 8 months 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"

Woody Cragg 1 year, 8 months ago

Next year will be a big transition for Self without a doubt. No returning starters plus a very raw Ellis, Traylor, & all others regardless of recruits. The season may be trying to say the least, but Bill adapts his game to the available talents as well as any coach in CBB. By season's end we'll still likely have the longest running streak of consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. IMO he is the very best at "here it is, make it work." I don't think anyone with good sense would bet much money against him either. But we'll cross that river next year and enjoy hell out of the ride we have right now. The team that wins the NC is always the one getting on the roll & peaking at the right time. Don't know if we could get much hotter than we have been the past few weeks, but personally I like our chances with obviously about 3 different guys that can put the team on their back & go with it.Time will tell pilgrim, time will tell.

justinryman 1 year, 8 months ago

I felt that way after the Twins left.

But TRob and TT stepped up and EJ when needed.

There is a lot of potential on the KU bench for next year and if there is anyone in the land that get potential out of a kid it's Bill Self.

With the incoming class, Tharpe, Traylor, Ellis and even Adams I think there is an opportunity to be explosive.

The real question is who is the defensive stopper? Where will KU look for leadership on the D side of the ball?

Woody Cragg 1 year, 8 months ago

Point well taken. That will be the greatest challenge going forward. Ellis has the potential, but will be one of, if not the main offensive weapon. White has the size but foot speed has to improve dramatically. Maybe Rio at the 1 & 2 spot, but needs to get his head on straight & quit publically whining so much. Wouldn't be surprised to see his schollie available. Also recall there are JC transfers & others like KY that can bring in exp & savvy to aid the young pups. I have been completely & totally impressed with the work ethic, energy and skillset that Kevin Youg has brought to this team. I had my doubts I'll admit, but he's been as valuable as most anyone on the glass this year & it's not easy to get a guy to embrace the dirty work like he has. I remain optimistic that we have a great chance at landing Randle also, and the the footer Emblid will be an impact defender after some adjustment-albeit maybe a year or two like Jeff.

Sally Presson 1 year, 8 months 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!!!

Chris Shaw 1 year, 8 months 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.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 8 months ago

There you go, favoring the big man again..you're not kushaw anymore for a reason!! :)

niemoth 1 year, 8 months 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.

WETSUhawk 1 year, 8 months ago

I agree about being a two in the South is better than a one in any other region. If Duke takes care of business, and I believe they will, They will get 1 in East, Indiana in Midwest, and Gonzaga in West.

Would be nice to have Georgetown in our bracket, they're the easiest match-up for KU of the four teams in this post.

niemoth 1 year, 8 months ago

I was more impressed with Miami this weekend than Duke. I figured Duke would blow them out with getting a performance like that from Kelly and being at home, but Miami was right there. I think Duke goes down to either NC this weekend or to Miami on a neutral court. Even if Miami/Duke get a 1 in East, we still need Georgetown to go down somewhere as if they win out they will be ahead of us (big east is better than big 12) and get the Dallas bracket and push us out west. Zags are at mercy of teams of power conference and whether they can double up on reg. season and tourney champs. Zags won't get a 1 even if they are 1 in the polls if Indiana, Georgetown, Miami, Kansas, all win reg. season and conf. tourney. and probably wouldn't even be ahead of Duke if they win out even though they won't win reg. season. I asked Lunardi in his chat last week if committee has Kansas as the #4 overall and Zags as the #5 if they would put Zags as 1 seed in west and give Kansas the 2 seed in south because both teams would probably prefer that and he said no, they would make Kansas go out west.

niemoth 1 year, 8 months ago

actually as I look more at it, Louisville has a shot at running table and jumping ahead of us as well (even though they have 5 losses) because Georgetown could drop 1 and Louisville would then be co champs and then winning big east tourney may put them ahead of us. All of this I'm sure is premature as there is still a lot of basketball left and chances that all these teams run table isn't great anyway. Just would like to go into selection Sunday and feel good about our chances of getting a 1 in the South based on who the projected 1's will be.

Dale Stringer 1 year, 8 months ago

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

Tony Bandle 1 year, 8 months ago

Maybe they could phototshop those adidas camo monstrocities in.....I'll bet then you'd think those away jerseys would look just fine!!! :)

juke4jay 1 year, 8 months 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!

Sam Constance 1 year, 8 months 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.

JayhawkRock78 1 year, 8 months 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.

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 8 months ago

I think Elijah & Withey were balleyhooed.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 8 months 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"!!!!

jayhawkliz 1 year, 8 months ago

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

surfingjayhawk 1 year, 8 months 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.

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