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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Kansas arrives in Dallas, ‘excited’ to meet Michigan

Jayhawks ‘mood good,’ Self reports

Kansas players Jamari Traylor, right, and Niko Roberts exit the team bus as they arrive at the Hyatt Regency Dallas on Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

Kansas players Jamari Traylor, right, and Niko Roberts exit the team bus as they arrive at the Hyatt Regency Dallas on Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

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Kansas players Jamari Traylor, right, and Niko Roberts exit the team bus as they arrive at the Hyatt Regency Dallas on Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

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Kansas head coach Bill Self talks with media members upon the team's arrival at the Hyatt Regency Dallas on Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

— Four police officers on motorcycles escorted Kansas University’s basketball team bus from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to the downtown Hyatt Regency hotel during rush-hour traffic late Wednesday afternoon.

The Jayhawks arrived in Texas safe, sound and ready to begin what they hope will be a five-day stay that culminates in a victory over Michigan on Friday (tipoff at 6:37 p.m., Cowboys Stadium, Arlington) and either Florida or Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday and a spot in next week’s Final Four in Atlanta.

“I think our mood is pretty good. I know the guys are excited,” KU coach Bill Self said to a throng of TV and print reporters on hand to meet the bus.

Self was able to joke when asked if he felt any flashbacks as the squad arrived in Texas. The questioner was referring to KU’s early-February trip to TCU, where the Jayhawks fell to the Big 12’s last-place team, 62-55.

“I don’t think we played in Dallas or Arlington this past year. There’s no flashback. We played in Fort Worth, which is a big difference from Arlington,” Self said with a smile.

In Arlington, Cowboys Stadium, which can accommodate up to 100,000 fans, is about a 20-minute drive from KU’s team hotel in Dallas. In basketball configuration, it will hold 42,614 fans.

“I haven’t mentioned it. We haven’t had so-called team meetings yet, as far as really getting into it with the guys showing tape and talking about the experience,” Self said of playing in a massive domed football stadium. “We’ll start that tonight.

“I know it’s huge. I thought last year was pretty big, too (St. Louis and New Orleans). We’ve played in Indianapolis, which is huge. We played in Detroit, which is huge. We’ve been in domes. These (current) players have not all necessarily been in domes. It’s a good problem to have because if you are playing in domes it means you are advancing in the tournament.”

A huge videoboard in Cowboys Stadium should help fans in the nosebleed section see the action.

“I’ve never been there. I hear it’s unbelievable. I hear the scoreboard is mesmerizing, hard to take your eyes off it,” Self said. “Our players will be fine. You still have to make shots. We’ll get to shoot in the building before we play. I’m not going to use that as an excuse.”

The Jayhawks will hold a shoot-around open to the public from 2:10 to 3 p.m. today at Cowboys Stadium. It is free of charge. KU, which has a huge throng of alumni in Dallas, is expected to have a lot of fans at Friday’s game.

“I don’t know if there will be a huge home team (advantage) if the place seats 42,000 and we have 10,000 seats,” Self said. “It may be more than everybody else, but it’ll be cavernous. I hope we’re the home team. We’re the team closest and have a lot of alums in the area, a lot of alums in Oklahoma. Hopefully they’ll get down here. It will be an interesting four-team field. There are four good teams playing. You’ve got different storylines with each one of them. I just want our guys to go out and play with reckless abandon.”

Michigan, the No. 4 seed in the South Regional, is known as a team with perhaps the top backcourt in the country. Trey Burke, a 6-foot- sophomore guard from Columbus, Ohio, averages 18.8 points a game with 236 assists against 76 turnovers. Tim Hardaway, Jr., a 6-6 junior guard from Miami, Fla., averages 14.9 ppg with 76 assists against 66 turnovers. The Wolverines (28-7) went 12-6 in Big 10 games. The conference was regarded as best in the country this season.

“There are a lot of things that jump out off the tape on Michigan,” Self said. “They are balanced. Everybody talks about Trey, and he is terrific. They have other guys who can all score the ball (including freshman guard Nick Stauskas and freshman forward Glenn Robinson III, who average 11.3 and 11.1 ppg). Their defense is better than what it is given credit for. They guard ball screens well. They do a good job getting to the ball. They’ve got guys who can go make plays. They are a really good team.”

This, that: The Jayhawks were to have a nice dinner at Pappadeaux in downtown Dallas on Wednesday night. ... Self said the team was healthy except for junior Justin Wesley, who has been ruled out of Friday’s game because of a severely sprained right ankle. “He’s doing better but not going to be able to play,” Self said.

Texas Tech opening: Current KU director of basketball operations Doc Sadler and former KU director of operations Barry Hinson have spoken with Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt about the Red Raiders’ coaching vacancy, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports. Sadler is former head coach at Nebraska, and Hinson is current head coach at Southern Illinois. Current interim coach Chris Walker, whose Tech team went 11-20 this season, remains a candidate, possibly the leader. Hocutt has also met with Oral Roberts coach Scott Sutton and Indiana assistant Steve McClain, the Avalanche-Journal reports.

“I was not searching for, nor am I seeking a job. I am extremely happy at Southern Illinois, but I honored their request and sat down and visited with their administration,” Hinson told The Southern newspaper of Carbondale, Ill.

His first Saluki team finished 14-17 overall and 6-12 in the Missouri Valley. It was most wins by the Salukis since 2009-10, when they finished 15-15. Hinson finished third in the MVC coach-of-the-year voting, the highest finish for a coach from a last-place team.

“I know I’m part of the process, and I as I told Texas Tech, I have a great job, and I’m extremely happy, and I’m humbled by their desire to reach out to me,” Hinson told The Southern.

As far as Sadler ... KU staff members do not discuss possible job openings as a matter of policy.

Michigan coach John Beilein on KU: “I see Kansas as one of the biggest challenges we’ve had all year. They are a veteran, veteran team, an interesting mix with four seniors and three freshmen playing most of those minutes. You don’t see that a great deal today. You don’t see four seniors much any more. I think that’s why they were able to win the Big 12 championship, win the tournament and why they are the No. 1 seed. We have a challenge in front of us. We’ve had a lot of challenges this year. Hopefully we can come out on the right end of this one.”

Of KU’s defense, Beilein said: “Withey anchors it, but the other guys ... when you play for Bill Self you learn to really play defense. If you’ve been doing it for four years you usually are very good at it. Withey gets the blocked shots but they are a great team defensively. Every one of Bill’s teams have always been that way.”

Contest: Future KU guards Conner Frankamp (Wichita North) and Brannen Greene (Tift County High, Georgia) will compete in the American Family Insurance High School three-point shooting contest at 1 p.m., April 6 in Atlanta. It will be shown on CBS. Other participants in the contest: Bryce Alford, New Mexico; Zak Irvin, Michigan; Nick King, Memphis; Race Parsons, Southern Utah; Matt Thomas, Iowa State; and Derrick Walton, Michigan.

Comments

kennethst 1 year ago

To all of you going down to Texas......Thank you for supporting our JAYHAWKS!!!!!!

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William Blake 1 year ago

I think a key to success for us moving forward is to keep working on what we did in the B12 tourney: interior passing.

Kevin Young has really come on as a great interior passer. Jeff and Perry aren't too bad, either. And our perimeter can do it, especially Tharpe.

CS worked on these guys in the last couple weeks on interior play making. So when any of our guys have the ball in the post/mid area, others are looking to screen and cut to be setup for a rim finish.

I love that kind of action... always have. It's like running a mini-break inside of a defense.... 2 on 1... or just knowing how to get it to someone near the rim. We've also been working on the alley-oop again.

Jeff: I read plenty of trash talk on the Wolves site about you. You might want to show them who's boss!

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Kye Clark 1 year ago

HEM has been MIA since the UNC game. He's not the type to just slink off after predicting a KU loss, but I've been curious to see his posts and analysis of the Michigan game.

I don't always post, but I do enjoy reading my regulars' comments. Oak, BigManU, HEM, Jaybate, Ralster, Jaybate, konkeyDong.

Hoping for a couple more weeks of actual basketball posts from those guys, about this year's squad, before all the line-up speculation tries to sustain us for months.

My two cents on the game is pretty much what I saw another poster mention above: if EJ can't keep Burke from getting wherever he wants to on the court, it's going to be a struggle. That is assuming Self doesn't put Travis on him at some point. If EJ can contain Burke, and barring a lights out shooting game from Michigan, we should be all right.

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Eric Keene 1 year ago

Hope Ben made the trip this time. He was AWOL the past couple games.

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Tony Bandle 1 year ago

Holy Crap!! I counted, and there were no repeats, but this kid scored 30 points without leaving the ground. Look out if Danny M. gets ahold of him!!

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FearlessJayhawk 1 year ago

I have already entered the final record for KU this season:35-5, so please don't make me have to change it.

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Konkis Dongington III 1 year ago

Has anyone ever heard of Mamadou Ndiaye? He's a UC Irvine commit that recently broke into the ESPN 100. He's 7'5". He doesn't seem like a very good baller or anything, slow and no real moves or ups, but watching his highlight videos cracks me the hell up:

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kennethst 1 year ago

Anyone have a clue as to how many KU fans will be in Texas at the game??

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AsadZ 1 year ago

I am not that familiar with MI this year. How would you compare MI to KSU.

The reason I am asking is that I read here that MI run Princeton offense that has lot of movement. And KSU under Bruce Weber ran a motion offense.

We did well aganist KSU. However I am not sure how well to compare KSU with MI.

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monkeehawkSL8 1 year ago

I use to find a stuffed animal that resembled the mascot of the team we were playing. During the game I would play "fetch" with said mascot, allowing our Welsh Pembroke Corgi"s, Margie and Monkee Boy to destroy the mascot. Sorta of a K-9 voodoo motif. This all came to crashing halt in 2002 when I couldn't find a turtle. As time went on I noticed that without the distraction of chasing and ripping up the mascot, the dogs began to pay more attention to my behavior. This was a real problem as dogs don't really like being around unstable people. When I'm watching a Jayhawk game, I become, unstable. After long lives Margie and Monkee boy have gone "home". I was thinking about starting the mascot routine again but it won't be possible with Oreo our current pup. She came to stay for a week as a favor to a co-worker. That was about a year ago. Oreo would make an excellent therapy dog, as soon as the games start she starts asking me if I want her to dial 911, do I have chest pains, arm numbness etc. I tried throwing a stuffed animal to see if Oreo had that mascot voodoo instinct, and her response was " this is no time to play you don't look well". Every year I commit to becoming a more responsible fan. Its not happening.

Last night I started making a list of things that of I have used all my life that have gotten me out of jams, junk drawer stuff. Duct tape, baling wire, epoxy, WD40, Swiss Army knife, baking soda, vinegar, twine, 4ml plastic. I thought " this years team reminds me of a junk drawer. I don't mean that in a bad way. I firmly believe that a house without a junk drawer isn't self reliant. Or Self reliant. The only thing that was missing from the drawer was a diamond in the rough. We have that too.

That's enough ADD for one post. I really like this team. They drive my dog crazy. RCJH KAAAAAAAAAAUOOOOOOOOOO! Jayhawks, take care of each other and you will win another!

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Konkis Dongington III 1 year ago

Since our guys are safely in Texas, this question isn't totally out of left field now, but what do you think the odds are that Rick Barnes is let go this year? They missed the dance. They got bounced by Houston in the opening round of the CBI. Sheldon McClellan and Jaylen Boyd are jumping ship. Kobongo is likely to go pro and his only verbal is from a 2-star PG that makes Milton Doyle look like Mario Chalmers. I mean, at any other D1, Big 6 program in the country, Barnes would have been issued his marching orders already. Does UT really think so little of their hoops program? Are they simply giving Barnes the benefit of the doubt for being (sadly), one of their better all time coaches?

Again, my only interest is putting a nice cherry on top of this recruiting class in the form of a big time late pickup. As I predicted, Shaka Smart isn't going anywhere, and there are already two pretty good vacancies to fill at UCLA and Minnesota. UT has to be considered a plum job if for no other reason than what it takes to get fired there. And if Barnes doesn't get the boot, it only sinks the threshold to a new low. Neither Barnes nor Minnesota have any recruits that I'm interested in picking off. UCLA has a good guard in Allerik Freedman who really liked us, but decided to go out West. Gottfried, the presumed favorite to replace Howland, has Cat Barber and Beejay Anya, both of whom I'd love to pick up and both of whom could provide immediate impact on next years team. And of course, whoever replaces them could matter too. Best case scenario for us, though, is Gottfried to UCLA and finishing out the class with Barber and Anya, unless you really think we've got a shot with Wigs (I say no).

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GortHawker 1 year ago

Make no mistake folks whoever plays the best defense tomorrow nite will win, " Go Hawks "

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jaybate 1 year ago

I like Jamari's look. He looks like he is ready to go on a bombing mission. Purposeful. Serious business. Like he knows he is part of the attack plan from the beginning of this game.That's good. Because he is. This is his moment. This is he and Jeff against two 250 founders.

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Tony Bandle 1 year ago

Bill...do a Norman Dale..... take the boys out to the Stadium, measure the basket height, the foul line and the three point line.....show 'em it's the same as in our practice gym in Lawrence!! Remind them this is Michigan 2013, not UCLA 1968.

Despite all the shuns and negativity from virtually every media outlet, I've just got this funny feeling we're going to handle Michigan just fine...almost the way I feel before a Kansas State game...weird!!!

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Steve Kubler 1 year ago

"We have a challenge in front of us. We’ve had a lot of challenges this year. Hopefully we can come out on the right end of this one.”

I actually agree with John on this, I hope he comes out on the right end of this game too. Not sure our understanding of which side is 'right' is the same but hey, no one is perfect.

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fabio 1 year ago

The only time I see athletes not wearing headphones anymore is when they are on the field or in the postgame press conference. The other morning I saw someone, probably an athlete, had headphones in during a class lecture.
Can anyone explain this phenomenon? Are athletes introverted and don't want to hear anything outside their bubble? Do they just like music that much? Is it a way to counter those that chuck insults at them from a safe distance?

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kennethst 1 year ago

So......My wife came up with a great suggestion last night....."Lets go over to my friend's house to watch the game Friday"........Hmmmmm.....and then I stare at her like she has 3 heads and just walked down the ramp of a space ship.

Ummmmm......No. That's all I need......go over to some quasi,half-hearted Jayhawk fan's house to watch the game.......while they're making conversation about the weather, stock market and the lawn......and me sitting there having to be polite and calm......while inside I'm liviving and dying with every shot......wanting to pull my hair out or jump for joy.

No. I need a controlled environment.....where I can "express" myself. Anyone else have issues like this?

Thankfully she didn't really care......but I'm sure I will pay for it later.

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FearlessJayhawk 1 year ago

There are two basic things the players have to do: relax, have fun and remain loose and at the same time be intense, alert and mentally focused. Don't cause coach Self to lose his voice by doing stupid things.

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KemDooKU 1 year ago

Spell check - relying ...... Relaying is what they do with KU girls................ Damn that was good!!!!!

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KemDooKU 1 year ago

Michigan has played plenty of tough teams this year so KU better be ready and not come out of the gate slow - I think the key is getting the ball to fall for Ben - if he is off then it kind of takes the flow of the game away from the team and takes the seniors a while to adjust - Example UNC - the seniors finally realized Ben did not have it and decides to stop relaying on him for points and the four took over the game with help from Tharpe- ...........go Ben and go Ellis.....As best said by ex Chiefs coach Dick Vermiel to young Larry Johnson............ It's time to take the diapers off-

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Ron Franklin 1 year ago

Seems like Bill is keeping a pretty even-keel witht he fellas right now. The more I looked into Michigan yesterday, I am not worried as much about beating them as I am not going full amp and having a potential letdown game against Florida.

I think the Hawks biggest challenge of the weekend lies on Sunday if they stay completely focused on the task at hand Friday. As a fan, I don't have to focus on one team at a time :)

Anybody notice any loss of spring for McLemore? I rewatched the Western Kentucky and Carolina games because I didn't get to really watch them last week when they aired. It appears to me that Ben isn't getting up as high on his shots, and he wasn't following through completely. He also is doing an awful lot of standing around in the corners. I hope his recent slump is nervousness and timidness, and not dead legs.

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year ago

Godspeed, gentlemen. You're already heroes, so just relax and enjoy the ride.

Stay the course. Keep the faith. Rock Chalk.

1

KansasComet 1 year ago

I am excited for this team. 31-5 wow, what a season! What a coach! Hopefully, it all comes together for us tomorrow night. Survive and advance, Go Jayhawks!

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nuleafjhawk 1 year ago

I see in print that we are a 2 point favorite, but the "feeling" I get from listening to the media is that we're about a 9 point underdog.

???

1

machinegun 1 year ago

During the Big 12 tournament, I thought Perry was going to be our X factor going forward. Now I have no idea. BMac getting untracked is critical. We have lots of guys who can shoot 3s. Not sure if anyone is better than BMac. That said, Elijah is the leader and when we need a 3 in a tight situation I want him to take it.

Michigan will employ that stretch 1-3-1 that always seems to cause us problems. Big Bill knows all and he has prepared our guys for Michigan. Kansas by 11.

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nostradavid 1 year ago

Dallas is full of Jayhawks; there should be a home court feel down there.

Good luck to Conner with the long ball. Nothin' but the cotton !

That's a great Withey poster. Rock Chalk Jayhawk !

Our guys have been playing together for a looong time ...

Monster Fan Club

Monster Fan Club by nostradavid

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jaybate 1 year ago

Affirmative on the second one.

If I ever get a tatt, it will be that.

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KJD 1 year ago

Michigan failed to beat Indiana at home, oh the heart break from that roller on the rim, to miss grabbing a share of the Big 10 title. Then they lost to Wisconsin in their first game in the Big 10 tournament. Folks have been bringing up that recent Penn State loss on the road too. This Wolverine team had something to prove going into the NCAA tournament.

Michigan avoided the second round upset this year in the NCAA, it was only a 4 point game against the 13 seed at half. Last year got beat in their first game to Ohio. Two years ago 8 seeded Michigan lost by 2 points in the second round to #1 Duke. The VCU thumping by the Wolverines and advancing to the Sweet 16 had to satisfy all those disappointments to some degree.

This is Michigan's first Sweet 16 since 1994. On campus the Wolverines have to be hearing the love. How much are Wolverines looking at press clippings and soaking in the media love that is picking them over the Jayhawks? Will they be distracted just enough?

Hopefully KU stay’s loose, has fun, and gets after it from the start.

Kansas has played through a rough stretch and survived already in this tournament so they can’t be broken in the first 20 minutes. Last year Kansas was a great second half tournament team. These Seniors know how to close the deal. Down 9 at half after playing stinky for 20 minutes against Carolina must be some kind of reminder of how they finished games last year in the Big Dance.

Oklahoma State tried to take the Big XII Championship away from KU this year down in Stillwater. I think Michigan is going to have to try to take this game away from the Jayhawks too. There is a lot of fight in this Jayhawk team. It would be really sweet to pop Michigan in the first 5 minutes to get that early bump on the scoreboard, grind, then let lose down the stretch like we all know they can.

I like version two of The Incredible Hawk so I’m going to post it. Better be hungry Michigan, the Jayhawk D is coming after you.

Rawwwr!

Rawwwr! by KJD

7

KJD 1 year ago

"I just want our guys to go out and play with reckless abandon.”

Don't make him mad. You won't like him when he's mad.

Don't make him mad. You won't like him when he's mad. by KJD

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Dirk Medema 1 year ago

Good to hear that Conner and Brannen are getting recognition. Hope the LJW remembers to bring the results, or maybe even a story from a call to the 2 recruits.

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Ryan Lee 1 year ago

Michigan is no joke Folks. Much NBA talent with an excellent coach. Be worried. But be faithful.

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Steve Zimmerman 1 year ago

"We have a challenge in front of us. We’ve had a lot of .." You call that a 'challenge'? You'll see the 'real' challenge when Jeff is in front of you! Better say your prayer, coz we will wear you down and tear you apart! Go Jayhawk!

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Ryan Lee 1 year ago

I arrived at bar. Excited to get trashed. Go Birds Go!

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okiedave 1 year ago

ROCK CHALK, JAYHAWK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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