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Monday, November 23, 2015

Crossing Swords: KU, Chaminade to clash in opener

Kansas head coach Bill Self, third from the right, is pictured with the other 2015 Maui Invitational coaches as they gather for a photograph following a press conference on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015 outside the Sheraton Maui. At left is Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt, Chris Mullin, St. John's, Tom Crean, Indiana, Danny Manning, Wake Forest, Eric Bovaird, Chaminade. Right of Self are Dave Rice, UNLV and Steve Alford, UCLA.

Kansas head coach Bill Self, third from the right, is pictured with the other 2015 Maui Invitational coaches as they gather for a photograph following a press conference on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015 outside the Sheraton Maui. At left is Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt, Chris Mullin, St. John's, Tom Crean, Indiana, Danny Manning, Wake Forest, Eric Bovaird, Chaminade. Right of Self are Dave Rice, UNLV and Steve Alford, UCLA.

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— It’s a big deal — front-page news of USA Today, the lead story on “SportsCenter” — on the rare occasion NCAA Div. II Chaminade knocks off a Div. I squad at the Maui Invitational.

Last time it happened was on Nov. 20, 2012, when coach Eric Bovaird’s Silverswords tripped Texas, 86-73, at Lahaina Civic Center.

“That time period was one of the most exciting periods in my life, beating them. They were in the top 20. Nobody gave us much of a chance,” Bovaird, now in his fifth year at the Honolulu school, said.

His Silverswords (0-2) will meet Kansas University (1-1) in a first-round Maui Invitational contest at 8 p.m. (Central time) today in Lahaina Civic Center.

“It kind of changes your life a little bit,” Bovaird added, “because a lot of people remember that for a long time. I get asked about it all the time. It’s a special moment in my life.”

And a low moment for former Texas coach Rick Barnes, who also lost to the Swords when he was at Providence. Chaminade also has knocked off the likes of Oklahoma, 68-64, in 2010 and defeated Villanova, Louisville and of course Ralph Sampson and Virginia throughout history.

KU is 2-0 all-time against Chaminade at the Maui Invitational, thumping the Swords, 89-62, in the first round in 1987 and again rolling, 102-54, in the seventh-place game in 2005.

“We’re going to need a lot of luck and things to go our way to even have a chance to play with them,” Bovaird said of KU. “They have 12, 13 guys who would all start for me. At the end of the year, I predict them to be in the Final Four for sure.”

Actually, on paper, there is one way Chaminade could conceivably knock off the Jayhawks, who finished last week ranked No. 4 in the AP poll: by hitting threes.

Chaminade has attempted a whopping 64 threes, hitting 28 (43.8 percent) in its two games — losses to Alaska Anchorage (92-90) and Alaska (112-102).

“Every player on our team has the ability to shoot threes. That’s how I recruit. We can’t get the 6-(foot-)10 guys they (Jayhawks) have. We play a unique style,” said Bovaird, whose tallest player is 6-9 Matt Southard, who hails from Norman, Oklahoma. He has played just four minutes all season.

KU coach Bill Self is not looking ahead to the likelihood of playing UNLV or UCLA in a second-round winners-bracket game at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

“They definitely throw it up there fast and play fast,” said Self, noting Chaminade averages 96.0 ppg to its foes’ 102.0.

KU junior forward Wayne Selden Jr. said the Jayhawks will respect a Chaminade program that is 7-84 all-time at the Maui event. KU is 11-6 in five previous trips to the Invitational, winning it in 1996.

“We’re not going to take them lightly,” Selden said. KU is coming off Tuesday’s loss to Michigan State, which followed a win over Northern Colorado. “I feel like, if they are on the schedule, we know we are supposed to play them, and we’re not going to take anybody on the schedule lightly.”

Vick to get playing time?: Freshman Lagerald Vick figures to net some perimeter minutes, especially with Brannen Greene out six games due to suspension.

“Whether he’s ready or not, he’s going to be out there,” Self said. “He has to play in goggles, which has him totally messed up right now because of a scratch to the eye, the reason he didn’t play against Michigan State. I think he can help us. He’s excited to have that opportunity. We need that from a depth situation, but we will play Perry (Ellis, forward) some at 3.”

Self on playing three games in three days: “Obviously conditioning will be a huge factor. Depth will be a factor. It’s a grind. It should be a grind. Things like cramping. I think it’ll be important how guys take care of themselves while over here. Everyone who has been over here has had players experience this (cramps).”

This, that: Self said he’d start the same group of Graham, Selden, Ellis, Frank Mason III and Jamari Traylor. ... Self hit one of three free throws in the annual tourney free-throw contest. UCLA’s Steve Alford didn’t miss. ... The Jayhawks attended a luau Saturday night. “It was one of the best luaus I’ve ever been to,” Self quipped. “It was fine. I think it’s good when you get all the teams there. They (Jayhawks) can see the guys from other teams. I think it gets their competitive juices flowing a little bit.”

Maui Invitational

Monday's Games

1:30 p.m. — St. John’s vs. Vanderbilt (ESPN2)

4 p.m. — Wake Forest vs. Indiana (ESPN2)

8 p.m. — Kansas vs. Chaminade (ESPNU)

10:30 p.m. — UNLV vs. UCLA (ESPN2)

Tuesday’s Games

Consolation Semifinals

1 p.m. — St. John’s-Vanderbilt loser vs. Wake Forest-Indiana loser (ESPN2)

3:30 p.m. — Kansas-Chaminade loser vs. UNLV-UCLA loser (ESPN2)

Semifinals

6:30 p.m. — St. John’s-Vanderbilt winner vs. Wake Forest-Indiana winner (ESPN)

9 p.m. — Kansas-Chaminade winner vs. UNLV-UCLA winner (ESPN)

Wednesday’s Games

Seventh place: 1:30 p.m. — consolation semifinal losers (ESPNU)

Fifth place: 4 p.m. — consolation semifinal winners (ESPN2)

Third place: 6:30 p.m. — semifinal losers (ESPN2)

Championship: 9 p.m. — semifinal winners (ESPN)

Comments

Tony Bandle 3 years, 7 months ago

The Chaminade Mascot is actually a beautiful silver flower that grows upright with multiple petals high on the slopes of the volcano. Maui is the only place in the world where they can be found. If I recall, you get in big trouble if you try to take one.

Please, all of you Jayhawk fans, put this tourney on your bucket list. It is incredibly fun. Kannapali Beach is exquisite and the town of Lahaina is a hoot!! I've been to Hawaii seven times between business trips and honeymoons, and Maui is, by far, the island with the most action.

Kent Richardson 3 years, 7 months ago

If it is seven marriages I'm extra impressed. Lol.

Kent Richardson 3 years, 7 months ago

Chaminade's 6'9" dude and Hunter decide to switch places and no one notices until the first Baylor game when Bill decides Jamari and Landon need a break from from Rico Gathers.

As a fan it is okay for me to look past the Silver Swords and anticipate a match up with UCLA, Vandy or Indiana.

If we get upset by Chaminade we can say our guard play needs to get better after Wayne, DeVonte and Frank the III go 5 for 50 and Bill says we need to finish better at the rim.

All this stupid s*** is my way of saying I don't know what to expect at any level except that Perry should be able to score 30 with a double/double this evening. Also since Bill thinks Svi has more to give then it will be up to young Svi to finally grab it.

DeVonte's stats always shine with assist to turnover ratios and steals.

MSU contested every perimiter shot because they didn't feel the need to sag off. Perry was able to score inside but we didn't run the offense through him enough. Let him be the man, free the Svi and play Hunter please. Maybe Hunter sucks but we haven't seen enough of him to really tell. Why? Landon and Jamari are so limited offensively. We have seen enough of that. A sweep through this tourney would get our mojo back.

Adam Collins 3 years, 7 months ago

Back in my day "crossing swords" meant something very different than basketball...

Bob Zielinski 3 years, 7 months ago

Gary may have a side job writing for a different publication and accidentally blended two important stories for his diverse readership.

Bryce Landon 3 years, 7 months ago

I was just looking at the history of the Maui Invitational, and Kansas has only won the event once - at the start of the 1996-1997 season. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is KU's 6th appearance in the event (the others being 1987, 1996, 2001, 2005, 2011).

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