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Monday, March 4, 2013

Notebook: Kevin Young delivers one-liners in speech; top recruit Andrew Wiggins visits

Kansas recruit Andrew Wiggins watches from behind the bench during the second half, Monday, March 4, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas recruit Andrew Wiggins watches from behind the bench during the second half, Monday, March 4, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after win over Texas Tech

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 79-42 win over Texas Tech on March 4, 2013.

Download podcast

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after win over Texas Tech

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 79-42 win over Texas Tech on March 4, 2013.

Download podcast

Kevin Young resembled a stand-up comedian as he took the microphone for the first of four Senior Night speeches following Monday’s 79-42 rout of Texas Tech in Allen Fieldhouse.

“I had a long speech prepared. It got lost in my hair,” senior forward Young said, patting his afro and drawing laughs from the 16,300 who stuck around for postgame senior speeches.

“I can touch my toes now,” he added in thanking trainer Andrea Hudy for her work with him the past two seasons.

All four seniors needed only three minutes apiece to thank God, their family members, coaches, teammates, managers, trainers and support staff members.

“Without her (Hudy) I couldn’t be, ‘Too Strong,’’’ Elijah Johnson said with a smile. “There’s no place to play like Kansas.”

To the fans, Travis Releford said: “You kept me going. I struggled early my red-shirt season and had thoughts of leaving like any normal kid would. To be here, running out of the tunnel and getting chills ... it’s the best place to be.”

Jeff Withey thanked the student section as well, concluding with “Rock Chalk.”

Ben recognized, too: KU coach Bill Self opened the speech portion of the event by asking the fans to recognize freshman Ben McLemore, who likely played his final game in Allen.

“We’ve not talked about it. He may come back. He may not. He deserves one loud ovation from the fans in Allen Fieldhouse,” Self said.

The fans gave McLemore a standing ovation and chanted, “One More Year.”

“Don’t hold your breath on that,” Self told the fans.

Honorees: KU’s Elijah Johnson on Monday was named Big 12 player of the week and Ben McLemore rookie of the week.

Johnson averaged 25.5 points, 8.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds in wins over Iowa State (108-96 in overtime) and West Virginia (91-65). He had a career-high 39 points against Iowa State and 10 assists versus West Virginia. McLemore averaged 21.5 points and 5.0 rebounds. He had 36 points versus West Virginia.

Big 12 POY: Self on Monday said KU’s McLemore and Withey should be in the conversation for Big 12 player of the year with Kansas State’s Rodney McGruder and Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart.

“So much comes down to who is the most successful team,” Self said. “If anybody has turned their vote in already, it’s premature. We have so much ball left.”

Randle sets date: Julius Randle, a 6-9 senior forward from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, will announce his college decision on March 20, according to USA Today. He will announce live on ESPNU. Randle has a list of KU, Kentucky, Florida, Oklahoma, N.C. State and Texas.

Wiggins on hand: Andrew Wiggins, a 6-7 senior forward from Huntington (W. Va.) Prep High, attended Monday’s game with his parents. He waved to KU’s student section, who chanted, “We Want Wiggins.” He has a list of KU, Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida State.

Stats, facts: Elijah Johnson’s 12 assists were most by a Jayhawk in a conference game since Aaron Miles dished 12 versus Kansas State on Jan. 28, 2004. ... Johnson posted back-to-back double-digit assists the first time since Aaron Miles had 12 and 11 vs. Kansas State and Iowa State, respectively, on Jan. 28 and Jan. 31, 2004. ... Johnson's nine first half assists are second-most ever by a Jayhawk in a half and ties Kirk Hinrich’s and Ryan Robertson’s school-record mark for assists in a half of a conference game. ... Ben McLemore's 13 points put him at 494. He needs just three points to pass Danny Manning as the school's freshman scoring leader. ... Texas Tech's 42 points were the fewest by a Big 12 opponent in Allen Fieldhouse since Nebraska scored 39 on Feb. 17, 2007 ... The Red Raiders shot 6.7 percent (1-of-15) from three-point land, the lowest percentage by a Big 12 opponent since Missouri failed to make a three, going 0-for-10 on Feb. 4, 2008.

Comments

JayhawkRock78 1 year, 1 month ago

Thanks for the link to 1978 and KSU. I am happy to hear Donnie Von Moore is a successful coach somewhere. He faired so much better than Norm Cook. Unfortunately Norm had a troubled life. I met both our freshmen year at the training table although i was in a different sport. We had English class together including tutoring sessions. Both were nice young men. I remember being pi**ed off at KSU for the name calling, etc. The way I remember it, KSU was a much bigger rival than MU at AFH games back then and the games in Manhattan were intense.

Back then Hartman was a wizard. He got so much out of his players. Owens could recruit blue chips but I think Hartman was a better motivator.

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yates33333 1 year, 1 month ago

AZHawk72. I hate to say this about a fellow alumnus, but what the Hell are you smoking?

We've been playing BB in front of white crowds for years and as far as I know no one every said what you have here. I'll admit I probably don't understand what it means. This sht about all African Americans thinking the same way is just that, sht. You nor I know what the Wiggins were thinking. Also, ever been to Tallahassee? Although a moderate sized city that panhandle area of Florida is more rural Alabama than the rest of Florida. Know what I mean???

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AZHawk72 1 year, 1 month ago

Wow, the one advantage of always being "a day late and a dollar short" is having the advantage/disadvantage of all that has been written earlier. However, after weathering this entire thread, I'm seeking mental consultation.

Isn't it weird on a night when we exhibited the best teamwork of the year on the court, we, the devoted fans, make no attempt to do likewise? Not really--to even imagine otherwise would tag me as idealistically moronic. I'll probably cover that in my second session.

I thought that pass around by the vets during their final moments showed class and was meant to say "remember what we've all accomplished together and, oh, by the way, we're not done." Well, I got it--no losses to Bucknell, Northern Iowa, or VCU. If we do go down, It's going to be after a war, and it will be after we've left it all on the court like last year.

And while we'll miss the entire starting five departing together, and we'll certainly pay for it next year, it's impossible to not appreciate what they've accomplished. For a change, I've been blown away more than trashing the living room after moments of devastation. After the free throw up versus Syracuse in the national championship game, the only thing that saved my marriage was my wife throwing things more than I was. Neither of us, as it turned out, really liked that room anyway. True creativity comes from...

Really love the interlopers such as K-whatever as the lunacy provided helps with the loss of a bunch of really great ballers.

P.S. Re: Wiggins. "Son, did you see all that white crap on the ground; do you see all these white people in the stands: do you understand why your father and I attended and graduated Florida-State? I understand this is a class program and you're showing the same class by showing up as you said you would, but PLEASE could we get the hell out of here!"

P.S.S. I'm sure I have at least a couple of these words wrong.

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Randy Bombardier 1 year, 1 month ago

When it comes to recruiting we want the ones who say what these seniors said, "I wouldn't play anywhere else." If they don't feel that way then they should go somewhere where they do feel that way. Would prefer we not get the one and dones anyway. Wiggins looks like he is one of them, probably going to Kentucky, the best basketball money can buy.

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Ben G Solis 1 year, 1 month ago

We don't want or need Dixon why bring that trouble to our great school?

0

KansasComet 1 year, 1 month ago

Starting Point Guard for the Kansas Jayhawks: Elijah Johnson!!!! The way it is, and the way it should be! I never ever thought for half a second putting this young man who has contributed so much to this team on the bench would send him a message. It was easy for me to stand by him, because I have seen what he is capable of. I make it a point every year to enjoy the ride. I don't sweat mini losing streaks, because I know who we are. At the beginning of the year I was convinced this was a top 5 team. We had a few ups and downs, but I knew this team could win, once they jelled. I believe that next year's team will be pretty good as well. New year, new heroes!

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Andy Tweedy 1 year, 1 month ago

So I don't see the posts any more calling for EJ to be benched and more playing time for Rio and Tharpe. Once again, Self seems to have gotten the end result we all wanted...go figure!

5

Tony Bandle 1 year, 1 month ago

HEY, WHY CAN'T GOD LAUGH TOO....HE INVENTED IT!!!

Having Andrew come to Kansas would be great.

Having Julius come to Kansas would be essential.

1

Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

Note to K-177: Your "brethren" (if we are still talking about humans, not animals) are those clowns up at IowaState, OK? Not us. We saw them chanting the same stupid things (even with children in the audience) that you guys do. Elijah shut them up, just like he shut you fools up in the Hawktagon. Go check our "Win" column to find your loser team. Same goes for those racist hicks at IowaState. Losers. Again. Keep trying, though, we got kids coming in that need target practice...

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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

Haha, K-177 is not a name, just a nameless loser number. We gotcha number! Manlesshattan loser. Cant enjoy your own team's success and top10 ranking? CLEARLY you are unable to act like you've been there before. Dude, you cannot compete with us. See how you do next year under Bruce Weber. Why couldnt your players beat us? Either in the Hawktagon/Sherrontagon/Tyshawntagon/Elijahgon, OR in AllenFieldHouse? It all begins with that basic fact. Idiot-dolt. We lead the flock, your sheep awaits you...

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Jack Jones 1 year, 1 month ago

OMG > Just as soon as KY's opening line was spoken, I knew that (A) some cretin just couldn't resist either saying something negative about the "God" reference, or: (B) another cretin just couldn't resist defending the "God" reference.

'Choctaw' above, had it spot on > Why on earth would you make that a topic of discussion on such a wonderful evening in which we are paying tribute to such a terrific group of young men > fifth year Seniors + one of the very best young(er) man ever to grace the court of AFH > as well as their families and everyone else who have supported each one of them (including each of us)? Please have the wisdom and the courtesy to allow these individuals to express, in whatever words, thoughts, beliefs are THEIR own > without any need to impose our own value system ( or 1 cents worth) of comment.

IMHO > This is just one more example of what is so devastatingly wrong with public discourse in this country at the present time. We just cannot accept/allow another person to share of themselves without it becoming a "I win/you lose" debate. GET OVER IT/GET OVER YOURSELVES.

4

yates33333 1 year, 1 month ago

I think we should be kind to K_177. Your average hog slopper, gum boot sheepherder, or lil'-ole'-doggie-get-along lover spends a lot of time outdoors with that western Kansas wind whistling through his ears. The velocity, left to right or vice versa, through an empty cranium wreaks Hell on any thinking process you might have once had. Illusions become facts and Hallucination reality. Hell you might wind up thinking Silo Tech is a university and their fans have functioning brains or that teams vastly superior to yours need to cheat to beat your ass. Not so. So, Pardon You.

2

sasnak 1 year, 1 month ago

They gave one to KU, at Iowa ST. that game should have gone to Iowa ST.

0

Born_And_Raised_A_KU_Fan 1 year, 1 month ago

All right people, I think we've fed the troll a little too much. Let's get back to talking about important things. Like how Kevin Young's senior speech was the best senior speech of the night.

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KUsmoothies 1 year, 1 month ago

K177 is on to us. We can fool the NCAA but nothing gets by K177... For having one of their best yrs since 77 kstate fans still seem awfully bitter

3

Ben G Solis 1 year, 1 month ago

Hey k_177 haven't you heard we're KANSAS we don't rebuild we reload. We're the school every kid dreams of playing for no $$$ needs to change hands. We make dreams come true no better place to play than in the PHOG. We will get that 9th title & keep going like I said we're KANSAS the BEST of the BEST ROCK-CHALK JAYHAWK GO KU!!!!!!!!!

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KEITHMILES05 1 year, 1 month ago

EMAW: you a a true loser. Your analogy is fuil of holes and untruths. As your FB coach wins alot, he cheats.......right? Talk about stupid.

As for Wiggins he was the most uninterested recruit I've seen for a long time. He showed no emotion and body language was lackluster. His family didn't seem to be into things either.

2

K_177 1 year, 1 month ago

The reason Wiggins didn't look interested was because KU hasn't yet offered him any impermissible benefits. But once a few boosters start waving $$$ in his face, Wiggins will sign with KU in a heartbeat. KU cheats and gets away with it. You can cheat your way to 8 straight league titles, but you won't cheat your way to a ninth. We'll make sure of that. EMAW.

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jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

Jeff Withey showed last night he could have been a scorer at KU, too. He has good mechanics and a soft touch. He will become a trey guy on the pros. My hunch is he injured his bow on his shooting arm and with Ben and Trav to score outside and with the need for him to board inside, Self just said wait till it gets well and focus on defense. His baseline turnarounds looked great. His trey looked effortless too. Jeff Withey is a helluva basketball player now, not just tall. What people need to remember is he is a footer who can play 30-35 mpg with a team full of greyhounds. Very few footers can do it. Only the really great one in the history of the game can do what Withey has done. He has looked awkward both years offensively, because Self has played him out of position at the 5. He's abaseline jump shooter and trinitarian, if ever were one inside. The jump hook was never his bag. In the pros, they will try him at the 5 and it won't work. He will work on his trey and hang on because of it and blocking and eventually have a long career as 4 with a trey who blocks shots while the 5 muscles. This guy is way better than most realize. And he still has huge upside. Whoever drafts him is getting a sleeper. He is going to get very good offensively.

5

clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 1 month ago

Im not on twitter, but did anyone see what wiggins said last night? would like to know if he said anything/how it compared to his other visits

0

jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

Kevin,

There is a niche in stand-up: the long comic. Fill it.

0

Phoggie_Thinking 1 year, 1 month ago

I really don't think of Ben McLemore as a one and done. He was here all last year. He practiced, was patient, and a team mate. PS he had great grades as well. From a distance (I don't know him personally) he looks to be a pretty solid kid.

Best of luck.

The seniors truly are a class of class. Thanks to them for making a great year of KU BB.

9

nuleafjhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

I've always hated the "one and done thing" - HATED it. But after all the stories I've seen and heard the past week or so, I'm ready to help Ben pack his suitcase.

Obviously, the fan in me wants him to stay at Kansas so we can see his Senior Night speech, but that's one speech that will never happen.

If I could make a basketball player in my mad scientist laboratory, the end result would look a lot like Ben McLemore (maybe with a few less tattoos). As gifted as he is athletically, what I love most about him is his attitude. He's got a great work ethic, is humble and Coach practically had to threaten him to start shooting more because he wants to defer to his teammates.

I still think he could benefit from another year or two of college, but he's going, going, gone. Best of luck to you Mr McLemore. You will always be remembered (by me anyway) as one of the most gifted athletes to ever don a Kansas jersey and as a class act. Best of luck !

7

HawksWin 1 year, 1 month ago

Impressive group of young men. When all 4 seniors started off by thanking God, I thought these players are special. In today's culture of self-praising, self-serving & self-knowing me-theology, these young men have the humility to know & praise God - to 16,300 people!! They have something - inside - they are special & are winners! RCJH!!

8

Jay Dogger 1 year, 1 month ago

If I recall correctly, three of the four Seniors started their speeches with something similar to, "I'd like to first thank God. Because without Him, none of this would have been possible."

I wish one of them had said, "I'd like to first thank the Big Bang. Because without that, none of this would have been possible." That would have been hilarious!

Thanks, Seniors.

RCJH

6

Joseph Bullock 1 year, 1 month ago

PS: In the above picture, it looks like Wiggins is looking over at our student section, thinking, these folks are crazy, and do they want me that bad. He has gotta be saying to himself, I could handle having that kind fan of support, every game!!!

0

Joseph Bullock 1 year, 1 month ago

WWW=WE WANT WIGGINS

What a great student section we have. I hope he t(and his parents) ruly appreciated them!

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darshben 1 year, 1 month ago

This is why Ben needs to leave "He needs just three points to pass Danny Manning as the school's freshman scoring leader" I just hope he is ready to score 15-20pts a night in the league every night or they will call him a bust if he goes #1 as predicted.

0

Woody Cragg 1 year, 1 month ago

Ya just gotta love that last sentence...since misery went 0 for 10. LOLOL. It just can't get worse than ZERO %! Only jackass breeders could own that record & I hope it's never shared with anyone else. They're truly in a class (lower than whale dung) by themselves.

4

Steve Zimmerman 1 year, 1 month ago

Let the 'fro give more fouls! KY == Einstein with redbull.

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