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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Notebook: Michigan a 4? Really?

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— Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self finds it hard to believe Michigan of the rugged Big Ten Conference enters today’s 6:37 p.m. NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game against Kansas as merely a 4 seed.

“How many 4 seeds could you say three weeks ago could be No. 1 in the country?” Self said of the 28-7 Wolverines, who went 12-6 in league play. “They are fast, skilled on the perimeter, a load inside (with 6-10 Mitch McGary). They defend well and are well coached, which all teams are if you are playing this weekend.

“We have three terrific teams that all could be 1 seeds here (KU, Michigan, Florida) and a team that has captured everyone’s imagination and as fun to watch as anyone (Florida Gulf Coast),” he added.

“I don’t think there’s a better team out there when they play their best than Kansas. I don’t think there’s a better team out there when they play their best than Michigan.”

Self on Burke

Self on Michigan sophomore point guard sensation Trey Burke: “He’s national player of the year. He deserves it. He’ll get it. He’s terrific. We have to do a terrific job of not letting him get comfortable, getting his shoulders past us. It’s easier said than done.”

Injury update

KU junior forward Justin Wesley will miss today’s game because of a severely sprained right ankle.

“Right now, it’s day-to-day. I’m doing workouts in the pool, light jogging,” said Wesley, who hopes to be available Sunday if KU reaches the regional final. “Right now, it’s a work in progress.”

Wesley is a native of Fort Worth, Texas.

“I’m not a Cowboy fan,” he said seated in a locker room in the Cowboys’ massive stadium. “I am a Steelers fan. This arena is incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s my first time being inside of it. I’m just in awe.”

Copy cats?

Wesley, who organized KU’s Harlem Shake video, was asked when he knew it was an Internet sensation.

“When LeBron stole our idea,” he said with a laugh. LeBron James and the Miami Heat performed a similar video after KU’s. “Their did theirs in the locker room. He was dancing in the middle with his shirt off. They’ve got somebody in a laundry cart. It just looked similar to ours is all I’m saying.”

Inside presence

KU’s Jeff Withey on Michigan freshman big man Mitch McGary: “It’s a tough one to compare. There are a lot of tough physical guys in the Big 12 like (Thomas) Gipson of K-State. McGary is more athletic. I’m used to getting hit (he has shiner from getting hit by James McAdoo of North Carolina). I’m not worried about that. He is a physical player.”

Controversial twins

Former KU players Marcus and Markieff Morris of the Phoenix Suns spoke to azcentral.com about NCAA Tourney losses to Northern Iowa in 2010 and VCU in 2011.

“I’ll never forget that — ever, ever,” Markieff said of the VCU game in the Elite Eight. “It’s worse than we lost to Northern Iowa. It was our team. It’s always worse when it’s on your shoulders.

“We would’ve kicked Butler in the (behind) and beat UConn and would’ve been the No. 1 and No. 2 picks. We lost to a bunch of bums that made shots. I still hope they (VCU) lose every game.”

“They got hot and had the crowd and the refs,” Marcus said of VCU. “Everything was against us. I wish I would’ve shot more and took over the game more. I didn’t pass to Keef enough.”

Markieff said, “And I didn’t pass to him enough.”

Link to the story is http://bit.ly/11TmzKe

This, that

KU’s Ben McLemore has been named second-team and Withey third-team NABC All-America. ... Michigan holds a 5-2 series advantage against KU. The Jayhawks have won the last two meetings: 67-60 overtime on Jan. 9, 2011, in Ann Arbor, Mich., and 75-64 on Dec. 19, 2009, in Allen Fieldhouse. ... KU practiced twice on Thursday, first at SMU, where Larry Brown is head coach, before a short 40-minute shoot-around at Cowboys Stadium.

… The Kansas-Michigan series dates to 1949. Two of the match-ups have been on neutral floors: a 49-47 Michigan win in 1949 in Kansas City and an 86-74 Michigan victory on Dec. 30, 1992, at the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu. In KU’s win at Michigan in 2011, Travis Releford played four minutes, with no points or rebounds, and left the game due to an ankle injury. … McLemore completed the shootaround with a highlight-reel dunk, which concluded which his falling on his behind. He was not injured.

Senior talk

Elijah Johnson was asked about the seniors’ next loss — if there is one — being their last: “Well, I personally feel like you shouldn’t think like that. What if I don’t or this or that. You’ve just got to relax and play. And we’ve been preparing for this for four years now. So it’s nothing too much different that we can do that we haven’t prepared for. If it’s meant to happen, it will happen. We’ve been preparing every damn practice, every practice, extra trips, extra talks, all the video sessions, everything, I think all that plays out right now. You sort of want it to happen right now in the last run, but you can’t just wish for things to happen, you’ve got to kind of go make it happen.”

Tickets available

A new block of single-session tickets for tonight’s games were made available late Friday by the NCAA. The tickets (priced at $110, $85, $60 and $45) are available at 800-745-3000. The previous allotment of single-session tickets sold out as of Thursday. All-session tickets (good for tonight’s games and Sunday’s South Regional final) remain available.

Comments

kellerman411 6 years, 7 months ago

I hear you calling them cocky but what I don't hear you calling them is liars. Every word he said is true. They blew it. They were the best and it wasn't close. They just flat blew it.

Ethan Berger 6 years, 7 months ago

One of two things happened with the twins that has them still so mad.

1) Sore losers 2) VCU talked but the twins responded and that was what everyone noticed.

For our sake I hope it was 2. But my gut tells me its 1. Come on boys, get over it.

Ethan Berger 6 years, 7 months ago

Ralster, don't make me an enemy by doubting my allegiance. Maybe you should have a check up with the real world. You never publically call someone a bum if the worst thing they did was beat you in a game.

kellerman411 6 years, 7 months ago

Hawk... they are bums... Not in the park bench sort of way but in a Rocky III kind of way. "You're a bum, you know that!...". As I stated above. That year, KU, led by the Morris twins, were the best team in the nation and it wasn't close. They blew it. BTW, what are those players doing now? Are they starting for the Phoenix Suns averaging 12 points a game? No, because 364 days out of the year, they couldn't hold Marcus' jock strap.

Ethan Berger 6 years, 7 months ago

Yes I agree that 11 team should have won it all. Same with the '10 team, same with the '07 team, same with the '03 team and same with the '97 team. What separates those teams from the Twins is, to my knowledge, they didn't tell the news paper that the team they lost to was bums. In sports, calling someone a bum is as low as you get. It implies that they did not work for it, rather it was give to them. The twins can call them bums all they want, as long as it is not made public.

Jim Roth 6 years, 7 months ago

It is understandable that they haven't gotten over it. They just shouldn't express their bitterness out loud. Makes them look bad.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 7 months ago

That was a really good post...We've mentioned this game in the past as so many KU fans blame the Morris brothers for losing because their pregame comments fired up the VCU team.

When you are playing to get into the final four, do you really need any outside stimulus to get you up for the game? The statement might have a little bit of credibility if the Morris brothers came out playing awful.. But they didn't.

Other than Markieff having more turnovers than usual, the Morris brothers had more points and more rebounds then the rest of the team combined. Only Tyshawn had a good game besides the brothers. I just don't understand why anyone might think any pregame banter could further motivate you to get into the final four.

Brad Farha 6 years, 7 months ago

@Solomon -- that's not what I recall. I recall Brady and Tyrel saying that they didn't play to the scouting report. They kept dropping down to the lane leaving their shooters open. I thought Brady and Tyrel were (still are) great kids, but I think the loss is on them much more than the others.

dylans 6 years, 7 months ago

I'm more worried about Michigan than VCU.

Hawks, just go out and play your brand of ball so you can keep on playing! There's nothing wrong with winning your last game.

farnamjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

I think Michigan will be a tougher test than either Florida or FGCU

KGphoto 6 years, 7 months ago

Glad Wesley called out Lebron and the Heat. Their version sucked and got non-stop play. At least they could’ve given props to KU for the idea.

Danny Hernandez 6 years, 7 months ago

I'm glad Marcus and Kief still feel that way.....we shot what, 2 for 21 from beyond the arc? We couldn't buy a shot and of course, VCU couldn't miss....played out of their azz that day

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