Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Jayhawks fueled by hostile road environments

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) celebrates the Jayhawks' 74-71 win over Kansas State, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) celebrates the Jayhawks' 74-71 win over Kansas State, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017 at Bramlage Coliseum.


Kansas State’s Bramlage Coliseum, known affectionately by locals as The Octagon of Doom, has proven to be a hostile environment for the Kansas men’s basketball team during the past couple of decades.

Win or lose, the Jayhawks always have taken the best shot from the K-State fan base inside the building the Wildcats have called home since the 1988-89 season.

And that was exactly the case again on Monday night, when KU improved to 25-4 overall at Bramlage — 6-4 since 2008 — with a 74-71, dogfight victory over Kansas State to improve to 21-3 overall and 9-2 in Big 12 play.

The signs were out, the students were loud and the sounds of “Sandstorm” threatened to melt the faces off of everyone in the building during the frantic final few minutes.

And the Jayhawks loved every minute of it.

“Man, every time I come over here, it’s wild,” said junior Devonte’ Graham, who hit the Wildcats for 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists in 36 minutes in Monday’s win. “I love playing here. I think it’s right behind (Allen) Fieldhouse as far as energy when we come over here. They’ve got great fans and it’s loud and crazy, but we did a good job of getting the 'W.'”

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has marveled all season about his team’s love of playing on the biggest and brightest stages and its ability to deliver in the toughest environments.

With wins in Madison Square Garden over then-No. 1 Duke, at Iowa State in always-hostile Hilton Coliseum and at Kentucky’s rocking Rupp Arena already under their belt heading into Monday’s showdown in Manhattan, the third-ranked Jayhawks certainly have provided plenty of evidence to support Self’s belief.

And after the game Self offered a glimpse into why this group of veteran Jayhawks has been so successful in that department this season.

“That’s all we talked about, use their energy to give you energy,” said Self, noting that the K-State crowd actually helped Kansas win Monday’s game. “And we even talked about different scenarios and how it was gonna help us. I think their crowd energized our guys. I think they really enjoyed playing here.”

Graham agreed and said he appreciated his coach finding a way to inpsire the Jayhawks to turn a potential negative into a positive.

“It’s definitely a great thing and I think we do a good job of doing that,” said Graham of stealing energy on the road. “Everywhere we go, the crowds are real juiced up and want to see their team beat us so we just try to use that momentum from their crowd and pump it through our bench.”

Only when the job was finished, with 0.4 seconds showing on the clock and Kansas leading by three points and in possession of the ball, did the Jayhawks flip the script and start playing antagonist to the crowd that helped fuel their victory.

With his fists in the air and arms flexed above his shoulders, senior guard Frank Mason III placed one finger on his lips and fired the “Shhh” gesture to the crowd.

Asked about the late antics following the game, Mason explained that he got caught up in the adrenaline rush that came from all of the anti-KU roars.

“I just wanted more energy,” Mason said. “The last few seconds, I was just trying to get the crowd into it even more.”

Kansas is now 6-1 in true road games this season and 10-2 in games played outside of Allen Fieldhouse.

Next up, the Jayhawks travel to Texas Tech on Saturday for a 1 p.m. clash with the Red Raiders in Lubbock, Texas.


Jonathan Allison 4 years, 11 months ago

Cal cancels talks about series with Kansas over anti-LGBT law

"the (California) law, which took effect Jan. 1, does not allow public colleges or universities to visit teams in other states that have laws that allow discrimination against the LGBT community."

No California schools can come to Kansas. I wonder what will happen if a "PAC 12" state passes a law that CA deems discriminatory? That's not to mention other conferences that have schools in CA.

Big Sky, Big West, Mountain West, PAC 12, West Coast, WAC, and that's just NCAA D1.

Not a stretch to think that Utah could pass a Religious Freedom law.

Apparently this was reported on by some publication called Lawrence World-Journal. Never heard of this LWJ paper.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 11 months ago

If Cal doesn't want to play us b/c of our laws, so much the worse for them. There are plenty of other good teams we can schedule.

Kyle Neuer 4 years, 11 months ago

It hurts us in recruiting from the left coast. And makes Kansas look to be populated by troglodytes.

Jonathan Allison 4 years, 11 months ago

I can see how it could theoretically hurt us in recruiting. In that west coast recruits are more likely to see us play if we are playing against schools that they care about. And that west coast recruits might be turned off by the fact that Kansas doesn't and won't play home and home series against their favorite teams. However I don't believe that those factors would really hurt us in recruiting whatsoever, because Kansas doesn't play CA schools very often anyway (we have had a few series with Cal and USC, but not frequent enough that recruits would come to Kansas to have a chance to play against their hometown school). And because Kansas already has a reputation that precedes them. We don't need to play against UCLA to have visibility to the CA recruits, they already know who we are and already know that we are a top level program.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 11 months ago

Refusal to accommodate sexual deviance isn't ignorance. And that mindset that people who oppose the LGBT lifestyle are "troglodytes" is what drove those so-called "deplorables" to Donald Trump.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. It's perversion, plain and simple.

Jason Brinker 4 years, 11 months ago

Ignorance at its finest! Homophobic much?

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 11 months ago

And your tolerance for other people's opinions is hypocritical and ignorance at its worst.

Mike Greer 4 years, 11 months ago

Look it up. "In sociology, deviance describes an action or behavior that violates social norms, including a formally enacted rule (e.g., crime), as well as informal violations of social norms (e.g., rejecting folkways and mores)."

Matthew Coleman 4 years, 11 months ago

If you are wondering how we have become so divided as a nation, look no further. CA has enshrined in law this leftist mentality that divides from anyone who won't think as they do. There is no accommodation, no humility or tolerance, either follow their lead or they cut you off. This kind of arrogance, intolerance and division can only harm our country.

RJ King 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes but you could substitute "Red States" for CA, and "right wing" for leftist and your statement would still stand. I agree there is harm in lack of cooperation - and danger in the current climate, but I think the arrogance, intolerance and division works both ways.

Plenty of blame to go around, but we should look for common ground instead and start there.

Chandler Accipiter 4 years, 11 months ago

"I wonder what will happen if a "PAC 12" state passes a law that CA deems discriminatory?"

Well, it looks like UofA and ASU will be picking up some forfeit wins in the future...or looking for a new conference.

Freddie Garza 4 years, 11 months ago

So what is this "anti-LGBT" law that they're referring to?

Dale Rogers 4 years, 11 months ago

So, no California public colleges will play in the NCAA Tournament?

Barry Weiss 4 years, 11 months ago

these boycotts need to stay out of sports, much like entertainers in Hollywood need to keep their pie holes shut, politically speaking, when at performances, as should athletes, when at a game. On their own time, fine, but keep it off the hardwood, gridiron, etc. rant over.

Tim Orel 4 years, 11 months ago

The boycotts are what get the attention of politicians. Look at North Carolina and all the furor over the ban by the NCAA over their "bathroom bill". They may wind up losing not just this year, but six years' worth of events because of how the NCAA allocates championships, from a report I read elsewhere. The politicians didn't start caring until millions of dollars from the NBA all-star game and the home games for the NCAA got pulled. Even so, they're still not changing the law, so I expect NC and Duke will have to go on the road for the first time in a long time to win their NCAA games, if they can.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 11 months ago

So the NCAA is willing to ban UNC, Duke, North Carolina State, Wake Forest and all the other North Carolina Division I basketball schools?

Not going to happen.

Jason Brinker 4 years, 11 months ago

That's not even close to what the article is talking about. Maybe you should actually read it so you don't look so ignorant.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 11 months ago

Was responding to a comment. That's something that happens at sites like this. Maybe you should get a clue and disappear back into your alias.

8 entire posts since 2012? I guess you only come out when you're panties get ruffled.

Why is it that people like you preach tolerance then revert to intolerance to anyone who doesn't think like you do? Sorry if I pointed out your hypocrisies. Sorry if the truth hurts. Sorry if you can't use the woman's bathroom creeper.

Jason Brinker 4 years, 11 months ago

You responded to a comment in a way that made you look stupid. So I commented back. That's also something that happens at sites like this. You stalk my profile to see how many posts I've made and I'm the creeper? Really? Keep telling yourself that.

Would you be tolerant of someone on this board making racist comments? But it's okay to demean people for being LGBT? Yep, you're not hypocritical at all.

RJ King 4 years, 11 months ago

Here's one link of several. The NCAA is not banning teams. It is banning sites in NC (and possibly others down the road) from hosting events - such as a Sweet Sixteen regional.

RJ King 4 years, 11 months ago

Imagine my initial "huh???" response when I thought it was Calipari talking about Kentucky.

Good for California. Taking a stand since Jerry Brown first talked about Climate Change in the 60's.

Little impact on recruiting. Three CA players over the past 12 years: Jeff Withey, Kevin Young (both transfers), and Merv Lindsay.

Interesting thoughts on Utah and Arizona possibilities.

There goes our rivalry series with UC Santa Cruz.

This may well have a more adverse affect on other KU teams, including the Olympic sport athletes.

Jonathan Allison 4 years, 11 months ago

I can see the NCAA taking Rock Chalk Park off of their list of acceptable sites for national sporting events.

Football of course is the Cash Cow of collegiate athletics. I wonder what will happen to the Cotton, Orange, Sugar, Fiesta, and Chic-Fil-a Bowls if/when Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Arizona, Georgia pass laws that are deemed discriminatory...

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 11 months ago

Wonder why they didn't cancel the Stanford game in December?

Brian Skelly 4 years, 11 months ago

While I dont have a link, I do believe that only applies to UC and CSU schools. Private schools (St. Marys, USC, Stanford, etc.) dont apply to that. It's only schools in the UC and CSU system. Regardless, I could see a lot more 'neutral site' games at Sprint Center if this trend continues.

David Gordon 4 years, 11 months ago

I would have liked to have seen Svi get called for a travel once to see what reaction that would have got from the Bramlage crowd!

Bryce Landon 4 years, 11 months ago

Meanwhile, I'm even more pissed about that Iowa State loss than I was before, because the Cyclones went to Austin and crapped their pants against a sub-.500 Texas team.

Mike Greer 4 years, 11 months ago

And that my friends is the tale of the Big XII. The players have said it over and over, even freshman Josh Jackson understands there is a target on his team jersey. Kansas gets everyone's best shot. You beat KU in basketball and your season is great regardless of winning another game or not. You had to know Iowa State couldn't shoot that well two games in a row. If it wasn't for teams stepping on their wieners when they shouldn't, we wouldn't be looking at #13 in a row. Rooting for OU and OSU tonight! Go Pokes!

RJ King 4 years, 11 months ago

Is this for real? If so . . . kinda sad.

RJ King 4 years, 11 months ago

pretty sure this was photoshopped, but it's still funny.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 11 months ago

Got that right Mike. Winning the BIG 12 should never be easy.

Harlan Hobbs 4 years, 11 months ago

You sum it up pretty well, Mike. OSU seems like the best surprise in the league so far. Hopefully, they can knock off Baylor because we always struggle at Stillwater. If OSU keeps up their momentum, Brad Underwood will be the Coach of the Year.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 11 months ago

Even if we win our 13th straight Conference Championship this year? I know you can't give it to Self every year – even if he deserves it.

Tom Jones 4 years, 11 months ago

No way Self gets it this year. Everyone predicted KU to win it this year handily.

Harlan Hobbs 4 years, 11 months ago

I agree, Marius, but the award always seems to go to the mediocre team that does better than expected. Wasn't it Tubby Smith last year at Texas Tech, and they ended up as an 8th seed in the NCAA and lost their first game to Butler.

Now that Baylor has beaten OSU at Stillwater, the pressure is back on us. A win at Lubbock on Saturday is a "must win" game.

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