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Monday, July 13, 2015

Jayhawks aim to carry Games success into upcoming season

The Team USA bench celebrates a late three-point basket by Wayne Selden Jr. in a Team USA double-overtime win against Germany Monday, July 13, at the World University Games in South Korea.

The Team USA bench celebrates a late three-point basket by Wayne Selden Jr. in a Team USA double-overtime win against Germany Monday, July 13, at the World University Games in South Korea.

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— After the United States’ men’s basketball team earned gold medals in the World University Games with an 84-77, double-overtime victory over Germany on Monday, the Jayhawks’ focus turned to carrying the experience into the 2015-16 NCAA season. 

The Jayhawks received unlimited practice time in preparation for the trip to South Korea, and enjoyed playing different styles of teams in the tournament.

“We came over here looking at this as a stepping stone to get better for our team,” KU junior guard Wayne Selden Jr. said. “We did that. And we accomplished a gold medal, which is always a great time.

“I feel great. We’ve got a great group of guys and we’re missing people. We played well and we’re missing people. Imagine when we get those guys back.”

The Jayhawks had to replace junior guard Brannen Greene (hip) and sophomore guard Devonté Graham (quad) for the World University Games because of injuries. Graham traveled to Korea, but didn’t practice or play.

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.

“It’s exciting to me, because we’ve got five really good players back home,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “Of course, we picked up (SMU senior) Nic (Moore) and (Florida Gulf Coast senior) Julian (DeBose), but to think about Brannen Greene healthy, and Devonté healthy and Cheick (Diallo) and Svi (Mykhailiuk) and certainly Dwight (Coleby) coming in, that’s a pretty good nucleus that I think we’ll have a lot of fun together.”

In the tournament, the Jayhawks beat Turkey, Brazil, Chile, Switzerland, Serbia, Lithuania, Russia and Germany. 

“It’ll help us a lot moving forward,” Mason said. “It gives a lot of guys confidence going into next season. We’re playing against a lot of pros over here and great guys, so definitely it’ll help us out moving into next season.”

Entering the tournament, the Jayhawks weren’t quite sure what to expect from opponents, but they found ways to win the first U.S. gold since 2005. 

“To win as a university team, for the most part, when select teams haven’t been able to do it,” Self said, “I think speaks volumes for how hard these kids played over here.”



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


Comments

JD Roth 1 year, 10 months ago

I could have sworn we played Serbia before Switzerland...

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

Yes. Switzerland was the last pool game when no one played more than 20 minutes to rest for the next round because we had the top spot assured, and still won by 40 or something crazy.

DaNeille Davis 1 year, 10 months ago

Rock Chalk!! Proud to be a Jayhawk! The guys played great. I hope coach continues to let them play free and run. Seems to have worked! It was fun watching this team play. Kudos to Hunter, Lucas, and Wayne for playing well!! And thanks to Nic and Julian for being a part of the team and helping us to Gold. What a proud moment for them and to go back to their school with a medal and an experience of a lifetime. Now let's conquer the NCAA and show everyone who the best basketball team over the past two decades is!!!

Dale Rogers 1 year, 10 months ago

Wow, what a fun to watch tournament that was! But I am VERY disappointed in lack of national media attention outside Kansas, especially when they won the gold. We're in southern California. Not a single mention on TV news here. None.

John Randall 1 year, 10 months ago

Example of ESPNuxyz flexing muscle to quash KU, and lock out other coverage.

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