Advertisement

Monday, July 13, 2015

Keegan

Column: U.S.‘next plays’ its way to victory

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) is pulled up from the court after being buried under a dog pile of players after a Team USA double-overtime win against Germany Monday, July 13, at the World University Games in South Korea.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) is pulled up from the court after being buried under a dog pile of players after a Team USA double-overtime win against Germany Monday, July 13, at the World University Games in South Korea.

Advertisement

If your goal is to minimize the gold medal that Kansas-dominated Team USA won in the World University Games, you can find fodder to do so.

Many countries’ top talent was reserved for the impending Pan-American Games.

Some of the players Kansas/USA faced along the way play Div. III basketball.

In terms of sheer athletic ability, running fast, jumping high and quickly, nobody stacked up with the Americans.

Blah, blah, blah.

None of that changes the fact that Bill Self’s first veteran-laden team in three years won the USA’s first gold medal at the World University Games since 2005. Nothing fades the shine on the gold medals worn by the athletes who competed hard and played together in routs and close games alike.

Reader poll

Which KU player do you think the World University Games helped the most?

  • Carlton Bragg 2% 92 votes
  • Perry Ellis 1% 42 votes
  • Devonte Graham 0% 25 votes
  • Landen Lucas 0% 37 votes
  • Frank Mason 12% 519 votes
  • Hunter Mickelson 39% 1597 votes
  • Wayne Selden 40% 1672 votes
  • Jamari Traylor 0% 10 votes
  • Lagerald Vick 2% 90 votes

4084 total votes.

And nothing that happened in Gwangju did anything but make Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy look smart for making Kansas his months-out No. 1 team in the NCAA.

Decourcy made that pick before KU headed overseas, and it’s understandable why he did it. The Jayhawks have the right blend of veterans and youth, McDonald’s All-Americans and key players overlooked by blue-blood schools and national ranking services.

They won it without foreign-born, incoming freshman center Cheick Diallo (MVP of the McDonald’s and Jordan Brand all-star games) and sophomore guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk of Ukraine, and injured guards Devonté Graham and Brannen Greene. The Jayhawks had help here and there from SMU’s Nic Moore and to a lesser extent Florida Golf Coast’s Julian DuBose, but they didn’t make major contributions.

Team USA won the World University Games gold for the first time in 10 years because it had players who have been around Self long enough to take on his qualities and to adhere to his No. 1 instruction consistently.

If Self were paid $100 for every time he hollers, “next play, think next play,” to a player in practice and games, he could earn $50 million in 10 years. He could become really, really wealthy.

It takes a tough mind to think “next play,” and Frank Mason III, Wayne Selden Jr. and Perry Ellis all did a terrific job of doing so throughout the games televised by ESPNU and covered live by Journal-World reporter Bobby Nightengale Jr. and photographer Mike Yoder.

Self is a driven, smart, confident person and coach. Above all, he’s a winner. His veteran leaders played driven, smart, confident basketball and became winners.

Selden, clanking shots from near and far as sophomore, looked like an athlete wearing the weight of last-play failures. He was all next play, all the time, in South Korea. Even as the competition returns to faster, quicker and in many cases more skilled than it was in Gwangju, there is no reason to believe Selden won’t keep thinking next play as a junior.

Watching Mason take his man, time after time, make key free throws, always advance, never retreat, infused teammates with enough confidence to play loose in tight spots.

The emergence of Hunter Mickelson, such a force in staking Kansas to an early lead in the gold-medal, double-overtime victory vs. Germany, and an active presence at both ends throughout the tournament, helps the bench. So does the valuable experience gained by talented freshman Carlton Bragg, who need not play a lead role, rather just needs to improve every month leading up to March.

The competition grows much tougher in the Big 12 and tougher again in the late stages of the NCAA Tournament, but in terms of winning on a big stage, KU has a head start on the season. The players will enjoy looking back on winning the gold for a bit until the season starts and they turn their attention to where it was in South Korea: next play.


More from Team USA’s double-overtime gold-medal victory


Comments

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 10 months ago

Thanks for sending guys to S. Korea to cover the WUGs. I'm sure it was expensive but they did a great job. The LJW has firmly again demonstrated itself as the authoratative body covering KU sports.

Primarily thanks to the emergence of Mickelson at the 5, Self will have his first complete team of experienced veterans since '08. Unlike every year since the NC, our Gold Medal Team has strong core leadership from the trio of Mason-Seldes-Ellis supported by high quality talented depth. Although results are never guaranteed, this could be Self's most complete team ever. Best of all, they possess the confidence, competitiveness and will to win.

You are right about how tough it will be. The Big 12 with OU, ISU, BU and UT will be brutal, perhaps more so than last year. The NCAA Tournament will give us UK, VA, UNC, 'Nova, etc.

January 30, 2016

.

Brianna Zaleski 1 year, 10 months ago

Good post Suzi,

I appreciate you thanking the LJW and I think we all should thank them in some way shape or form. That could not have been easy to send 2 employees over there for 15 days. The costs must have been extraordinary. So a big thank you is definitely in order and I, for one, appreciate you pointing that out.

Zeik Montellioso 1 year, 10 months ago

The cost was no doubt expensive, but more than likely paid for itself and then some. This website was the go to spot for fans to get the latest info on the tournament, and LJW definitely makes bank off all the ads and third party revenue generators they have attached to this site.

John Boyle 1 year, 10 months ago

As they should. That is what the free market is all about.

Rodney Crain 1 year, 10 months ago

Thank you Tom for a wonderful puff piece pandering to the homer faithful. Never a better reason to dismiss the truth about something than to publish some hype that will only fan those flames to a group who thrive on it here. Especially after a doubtful but very gutty performance by our team. Glad you did not wait a day to ensure the thrill of the unlikely win did not dissipate any. Rah rah rah rah sis boom bah instead of the Blah Blah Blah I get it, just not sure which one is worse though.

You forgot to mention the FIBA U19 tourney by the way, another recent basketball tournament that held more sway than the WUG championships.

The Gold medal win is a fantastic win for the team, a few people noticed too, but when do we care that anyone else does? For myself one who really doubted we could win it the way were playing, it was a nice cold shower reminder that any competition where you represent your country brings out another level in players. I am very proud of the team, I think we are going to gain a lot of benefits from it, but I am not going to try to inflate it into something it clearly was not.

We never do well leading from the front, preseason pundits are no better than Fortune Tellers. They tell you what you want to hear, rarely are right and normally tell the next person the same thing. If they knew what they were doing they would be rich betting on their predictions.

We have the Self tried and true upperclassman team, with a few new additions and could very well be in the thick of things come March and April. The WUG experience will help but to think we played the best in the world and won, well that is just lying to yourself.

Instead of trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill, next play Tom, next play, lets move on.

Tom Jones 1 year, 10 months ago

That's a long post to have no point to it.

Or was your point that KUSports.com shouldn't have written anything at all about winning the WUG? That's almost worse than no point....

Rodney Crain 1 year, 10 months ago

What a surprise this went over you head.

Oh well you cant win them all, or in your case any Tom Tom.

Stick to just putting down people on here Tom with middle school posts, that seems that is all you are good at.

Benz Junque 1 year, 10 months ago

It didn't go over anyone's head. You just think you're smarter than you are. Read back your post. It is a borderline schizophrenic collection of half sentences and rambling mess.

I am sure that the voices in your head find themselves to be witty and clever but there is evidently something lost in translation when you attempt to put those thoughts to print. This comes off as no more than a desperate attempt at being the resident wet blanket. I am sorry that you cannot seem to find enough human interaction in your offline life that you have to stoop to this level to garner interaction in any form.

Tom Jones 1 year, 10 months ago

It's just incoherent, buddy. And you're hardly someone to be advising others not to put people down. You're the worst person on here in that regard and it's not really even close.

Since you didn't answer a pretty simple question, I'll go with my original assertion that there wasn't actually a point to your post.

Brianna Zaleski 1 year, 10 months ago

I re-read this article twice to see if it had any statement or even innuendo that KUSA just played the best players the world had to offer, and won. I wasn't able to find it. In fact here are a few of Tom's statements to the contrary:

"Many countries’ top talent was reserved for the impending Pan-American Games."

"Some of the players Kansas/USA faced along the way play Div. III basketball."

"In terms of sheer athletic ability, running fast, jumping high and quickly, nobody stacked up with the Americans."

That seems like a pretty clear disclaimer that Tom doesn't think the WUG experience was against the best players in the world, and that we beat them all.

The point of the article was to point out the ability of our team to overcome adversity and to still perform. And it doesn't matter whom you learn that skill from, it is only important that we learn it. For it is an experience that they can draw upon when times get tough throughout the season, when we play tougher opponents and the stakes are higher.

I think that it is particularly low of someone to diminish a bunch of kids winning a gold medal for our country. No matter how stiff the competition or that there are better tournaments out there. These kids (and coaches) were away from their families and their routine for 15 days in a country half a world away. They overcame much adversity and claimed the top prize for their accomplishments. They are to be applauded, not scoffed at.

No one on this site is claiming that we are now winning a NC because of winning gold at the WUG. We are simply proud of this team and what it accomplished half a world away in adverse situations. Is there something wrong with that? Should we only be satisfied if they win a NC?

Rodney Crain 1 year, 10 months ago

Never been a fan Bri, you struggle understanding simple comments or to understand subtext. But thanks for trying.

Len Shaffer 1 year, 10 months ago

My question, Rodney, is whether you get joy out of being so bitter and nasty all the time, or whether you're simply a bitter, nasty, sad person who never experiences any joy.

John Fitzgerald 1 year, 10 months ago

He's a 45 year old 300 lb kid that lives in his grandmothers basement and plays WOW all day living off of her social security. I'd be angry if I was him too.

John Fitzgerald 1 year, 10 months ago

Did you even read the full article? My goodness ...

Rodney Crain 1 year, 10 months ago

Mercy, since I went point by point in my reply that is obvious. Did you read mine? Or just dismiss it outright like you normally do? My Goodness think about what you say at least before you post. I do. You might disagree with it but at least I have a thought.

John this is a fan the flames of our greatness puff piece. Even our coach does not agree this is something to be elevated to some Mystical status (see below). Its nice, a great win, we got a gold medal. Why do you and others think it is like winning the Olympics?

John Fitzgerald 1 year, 10 months ago

Dude, you need to chill. No one on here takes you seriously anymore. Do us all a favor and move to Missouri.

John Pritchett 1 year, 10 months ago

If you're saying KU probably won't win the NC next year, believe it or not, you're not making any bold prediction. Some people like to believe that KU has a shot to win it all, and the great thing about KU is that they legitimately do have a shot every year, so there's always something to get excited about, unless you're just so jaded and cynical that you can't get excited about anything KU does or has the potential to do.

People like me get excited about KU and their potential, year after year. Apparently, people like you get more enjoyment out of saying "I told you so" when KU fails to live up to our hopes, which happens the vast majority of the time. If that's what gives you a thrill, go for it.

Benz Junque 1 year, 10 months ago

The U19 held more sway than the WUG? There were how many US collegiate players in that game? Four? Plus a few more incoming freshmen? Get real. USA Basketball only paid more attention to that because they are Nike and KU is Adidas.

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 10 months ago

And the WUG teams from Brazil and Canada may have lost some talent to the Pan Am games possibly. But that had no effect on Turkey, Serbia, Switzerland, Chile, Lithuania, Russia, or Germany. And truth is the USA has failed to even advance to the gold medal game in Olympic years 2008 and 2012 when there actually are other teams robbing top talent from those other nations' WUG teams.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

" For myself one who really doubted we could win it"

The reality is that Rodney quit on the team and conceded victory to Germany with at least 5 minutes to play. If I recall correctly it was even at a point when the score was even tied.

Rodney is still embarrassed, and trying to blow a bunch of smoke as a cover-up. He doesn't like the reality of being a quitter, and continues to try to be dismissive of anybody that continued to cheer for the team.

Was Rodney also the person who was saying last April that Coach Self couldn't recruit anymore? That would have been right before the end of recruiting when we signed Diallo, Vick, and Coleby. Hmmm, that sounds familiar. Thinking game over when Coach, the team, and even diehard fans are thinking "next play". So glad he wasn't leading the team in '88 when they overcame huge adversity to keep "the fat lady" from singing, or in '08 when we were down a bunch late in the game. Victory usually involves overcoming some adversity to be successful.

Maybe Rodney is just a hopeless old man that is trying to bring the rest of the world down to his personal frustration. Sure glad we have something to hope for.

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 10 months ago

Being frustrated is one thing but outright quitting on your team is a separate matter.

Throughout the tournament, KU/USA owned the 4th quarter with our depth and athleticism. Quitting with 5 min. left just doesn't sit very well.

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 10 months ago

This seems to be an attempt to marginalize our victory and maybe gloss over the fact that you quit on them.

The KU/USA team in the WUG is better than the USA FIBA team which is mostly made up from top HS recruits. Good for Sean Miller as there are a few top 2016 recruits but it does not hold more sway than the WUG games.

Humpy Helsel 1 year, 10 months ago

In the overall context of where and how we played, without key players, with loaners, (I think Nic's contribution is MUCH understated in article), and against older players, many with professional experience, the achievement is very special. The fact we didn't lose any games and we were able to close it out, which this group has struggled to do in elimination games, bodes well going into the season. The confidence factor? It can't be overstated that this will propel them into the season and really help in one loss and out tournament settings. I think the achievement also speaks to the strength of a real team versus a select team in international play. Coach is sending not entirely coded messages he would really like to do more on the international USA level. He fits the profile and has the pedigree to do so as the top guy. Too bad it will be with select teams and not with KU. It was all great summer fun for KU basketball junkies like those blogging in these articles. Let's enjoy it for a moment. It is a mistake to minimize this special achievement by a bunch of young kids and to take anything away from their proud moment.

Gary McCullough 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree that the article did not express how much of a contribution the non-Jayhawk players made in this series. DeBose hit some clutch shots and made important rebounds. And without Nic Moore, Frank would be the only ball handler of note. Nic was absolutely essential in the win and should be given his due.

John Boyle 1 year, 10 months ago

We needed Nic to take the pressure off Frank at times but let's face it, Nic sucked most of the time in the tournament.

Len Shaffer 1 year, 10 months ago

Nic's shooting was consistently poor but he did everything else pretty well. I would hardly say that he sucked just because he wasn't shooting well. And I think you're especially underrating his defense.

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 10 months ago

Without Graham we desperately needed another player to bring the ball up instead of wearing down Mason every game. Yes..he didn't shoot well but he did a lot of other things we needed.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

Nic was frustrated and his stats didn't live up to the POTY credential he came in with, but he had absolutely crucial plays at the end of several elimination games, and we have no hope without his contribution.

Julian also probably has a much bigger role except for the emergence of Vick. I can't imagine there were many even hopeless optimists that were predicting he would play as well as he did

Bob Thompson 1 year, 10 months ago

I really liked the way that Hunter played..... but, he has slow feet. Look how many times his man went around him. There will be games where he just won't match up with a quick big man, and there will be games where he will dominate. Hunter does everything so well, if he could only move his feet a little faster to stay with his man.

Darwin Dandy 1 year, 10 months ago

He is a center so I'm not worried about too many big men being quicker than him

Forrest Ranjer 1 year, 10 months ago

Tom, one of your comments is totally unnecessary and I'm not certain if it's even valid. I think Nic Moore was a major contributor to a couple of our wins. He played pretty consistently as a ball handler, made some tough runs to the basket, and grabbed some important rebounds, especially in yesterday's game. The kid is tough.

If there were a difference between the KU players and our two guests, I would say they have not learned to finish games yet. In the Russian game, particularly, both Nic and Julian had trouble taking care of the rock and in getting to the rack and scoring in the last few minutes. And yes, he made errors and turnovers, but I'm not sure he was the only one to do so. Nic is not perfect, or as polished as we'd probably like, but size is all that prevents him from being an incredible player.

That said, I wonder what Nic would be like if he played for us. I think he'd be a starter. And a closer. However, after winning the gold with us, I find no reason to point out Julian and Nic as questionable participants. Without them, we would not be wearing the gold.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

Good point, and I'm guessing by your tone you missed their article. They essentially said the same thing that you said. They learned to be closers from this team, and are both really looking forward to taking that back to their teams for the coming year.

Robert Brock 1 year, 10 months ago

Meanwhile, this is the prime Evaluation Period. Since Coach Self mentioned that KU had to play more through the guards, perhaps the Hawks should recruit some good-quality guards.

Just sayin'.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

Guessing that this means Coach will continue to pursue the best players possible. The beauty of the WUG as you mentioned is that Coach did adapt the style away from what he had become comfortable with over the years. That should open up huge doors of opportunity to all elite recruits knowing that Coach is no longer bound by his system. Still great things to be learned from the system, but Coach is and future teams can be so much more than that as Coach incorporates the talent available. It will just accentuate his other great leadership skills.

Clarence Haynes 1 year, 10 months ago

If my memory served me correctly, Germany had players from Princeton, Gonzaga, and Columbia which at last count, were not Div III schools. Moreover, these guys like the Serbian, Lithuanian, and Russian players have played together in the past, so this was not "chump change" that our players competed against! For those KU guys who played, this has been a great opportunity to for them to show what they are capable of and give the coaching staff an opportunity to see how they can be utilized in what could be a promising season.

Jeff Foster 1 year, 10 months ago

Some good comments and observations here. I thought the tourney was a great experience for KU, nothing but positives. Think about it, there is NO other college team in the country that got what, 6 weeks of unregulated practice together, bonded as a team in a foreign country and played some good ball against several global differently coached organizations and talent they'd never seen. Who cares if it wasn't those country's best, KU gutted out some good wins, playing a schedule nobody else will come close to this year with 8 games in 11 days after traveling two days to do it!

My only disappointment was that we didn't/couldn't have the full compliment of players together that will significantly contribute this year like Diallo, Svi, Greene and Graham, they'll have some conditioning and catching up to do. We learned a lot about veterans Selden and Mickelson and newcomers Bragg and Vick. And Mason further cemented in my mind that while Ellis may be the team's front facing best player, Mason will likely be the most important player for KU this year. He Is A Freaking Bulldog that doesn't stop and someone we have to keep healthy!

Looking forward to '15-'16, Rock Chalk Jayhawk, go KUSA!!!

Rich Hetherington 1 year, 10 months ago

I don't agree with the competition in Gwanju being sub-par. I know for sure that the teams fielded by Turkey, Serbia, Lithuania and Russia were all very talented, and based on the way the gold medal game went down, I assume the German squad is as well.

I'm not saying any of them are on par with what we'll see from ISU, Baylor or in the Champions Classic or other early season tournament, but they are definitely good squads with talented players, and while USA went undefeated in Gwanju, they were challenged by a number of those teams, including Brazil as well. To come home undefeated with gold medals is a HUGE accomplishment and should not be undermined at all!

Kristen Downing 1 year, 10 months ago

Glad about the gold, more happy about coming back injury free.

Joe Joseph 1 year, 10 months ago

Carlton Bragg's nose may take exception to this.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

Or Graham's leg.

The reality is that players will get as much playing through the summer as well. But as another article commented recently, they're in really good shape with nothing that should keep them from being full strength by the beginning of the season, and lots of positives from the experience to boot.

Harlan Hobbs 1 year, 10 months ago

I think that this is a great article. Of course, it is playing to the KU fan base. What would you expect? Frankly, that's their job, and they do it well, as demonstrated by their excellent coverage of this world competition.

This team's accomplishments may have a more far reaching impact than we even know at this time. Sure it may help recruiting and may pay dividends this coming season. However, the biggest impact will be on these young men's lives going forward. They are winners, and I believe that winners are destined to be successful in life, whether it be in sports or other endeavors.

Certainly, many if not most of the KU players have basketball aspirations following college, and this success will do nothing but bolster those dreams. However, for those who have dreams in other areas, it will always be a reminder of something that can never be taken away from them. They are champions!

Brian Wilson 1 year, 10 months ago

Personally, I give the Jayhawks pretty good credit on this one, Some of these teams were pretty good.. The players for the WUG were actually pretty much the best that were available from their respective countries for the age group. Most players playing in the Pan Am Games are not in a University or of the age to be in a University. In the case of Germany, they were one of the oldest teams in the tournament and many of their players are aging out and cannot return for another year. Most of the players in the Pan Am games will be older and will have been playing in the Pro leagues. A good example is Keith Langford.

I have not seen a list of players from the Pan Am games that could have played in the WUG. Does anyone have one?

My guess is there are not many international players playing in the Pan Am games that could have played in the WUG, as the players in the Pan AM are mostly too old.

Point is that within the rules of the WUG, I believe the International teams could not have been much better.

Lloyd Kinnison 1 year, 10 months ago

Great Games Jayhawks. You did great. We have no comparisons.

Mark Lindrud 1 year, 10 months ago

I find it interesting that Tom wants to talk about the lack of competition we faced. The announcers would mention which players were on a division 1 team or ones that could get drafted by the NBA. Teams had quality height, and good shooters. The European game is a different one, with a different style that challenged us in a way that we were not used to.

We played on a narrower court, with a shorter shot clock and a different set of rules that we did not have much time to get used to, but yet we went undefeated. We won the gold for the USA for the first time in 10 years. What if Greene and Graham were healthy? What if Diallo and Svi could have played? They were unable to and we played with two hand me down players who's contributions were minimal in the grand scheme of things. These young men got to grow together, and have an amazing experience that no one can every take away from them, ever, which include coming home with a gold medal.

Tell them that this was a diminished effort, and make sure you look each one of them in the eyes when you do it. They are coming home winners, and before too long, it will be time to focus on a 12th straight Big 12 Title, and to be a final four contender. Rock Chalk.

Mark Lindrud 1 year, 10 months ago

Guess you can say I am not the biggest fan of Tom's writing, but I meant to generalize during my rant that if anyone wanted to say our effort didn't mean something and not just focus on Tom.

Thanks for your response; it gave me a chance to be more clear. I am proud of our guys, and we all should be. This upcoming season will be exciting. Oh, and here is an article I found.

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaab-the-dagger/three-things-we-learned-from-kansas-winning-the-world-university-games-173802842.html

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

Nic & Julian were far from "hand me down" players. They are the best players from another branch of Coach Self's coaching tree and they were very instrumental in the outcome. We would not have been successful without them.

Mark Lindrud 1 year, 10 months ago

The reason I referred to them as hand me down players is they don't know how we play and it was unfortunate we could not have guys who have been in the system for awhile (a la Graham and Greene) instead to play. Honestly, Nic never impressed me anyway during the tournament, but he was more of a means to an end, which was another ball-handler, which he did an adequate job of doing for us.

Rodney Crain 1 year, 10 months ago

Blah Blah Blah supporters rejoice the silliness is over -

“You had Olympic champions in 1952 and there’s not a banner for that,” Self said. “We won’t do anything like that. You know, we shouldn’t. This is not the highlight of our year. This is just a nice step. We’re not going to make it out to be more than what it is and that’s that we played great for a couple of weeks.”

Thank Heavens our coach gets it. If barely anyone on else here does.

Nice win, great experience, next play.

Mercy the overhype on here can be cut with a knife sometimes.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

Most on here are not talking about this being the highlight of there year either, but rather looking at it as a positive step toward the greater goals we have.

It is rather funny that you are trying to distort reality to align yourself with Coach Self, when you were casting dismissing his efforts when he was still working for success. You also apparently missed Coach celebrating with the team because he had persevered with them to the end. That also explains why you appear unable to celebrate with them - because you quit on them before the game was over. They have a right to now say "next play" because they worked through the last plays, unlike you who just gave up.

Gotta be in the game to say Next Play. There is no Next Play for those who go home to play "by" themselves.

Mark Lindrud 1 year, 10 months ago

Rodney, we won't have basketball for 3 months until Midnight Madness begins, and this is what we have to talk about so I don't see why we can't enjoy the moment. It hardly has been a few days and you act like we are over celebrating when we are being proud of our guys.

Soon, it will be time to refocus, and get ready for this upcoming season, which this tournament helped provide some confidence and momentum for our team. That is what I am taking out of this, and not overhyping anything as you put it, but acknowledging what was a great time for our guys, and that I got to watch KU Basketball during the summer. I am also very encouraged of where this might lead us this upcoming season.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 10 months ago

Subtract the nuance, the hype, the over-the-top enthusiasm [ ]justiifed or not, not my place to judge] counting 2 games against Canada, a game against China, 5 prelims and 3 medal rounds, bottom line, our Jayhawks got to play 11 games no one else in Div One got to play.

They got to bond, see what they needed to work on, see what they had and get a feel for what might be coming when the five invisibles come onboard. My feelings fall somewhere between Suzi''s sunshine and lollipops enthusiasm and Rodney's POW barb wire reality.

What I did see was Selden may be the OAD we thought he was three years ago, Hunter surprised, Frank is better, Perry is still Perry, Landen is going to spend a lot of time on the bench, Vick may be a steal, Jamari is still Jamari, Bragg is here for at least two seasons.

In the end, it was fun...isn't that what sports should be about??

Benz Junque 1 year, 10 months ago

Exactly. I am just glad to have had some entertaining, competitive basketball to watch in the offseason. Anything to cut down on the long break. And the fact that the KU players will inevitably earn some much deserved confidence and satisfaction from their play is a great bonus.

Mick Allen 1 year, 10 months ago

Let's enjoy this great win while we can. Unfortunately football season will soon be upon us.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.