Stories for June 2017


Friday, June 30

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An Angel's journey from superstar player to camp instructor

Just as 2015 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne was taking the court Thursday night to help the Washington Mystics to a 67-54 victory against the New York Liberty, Angel Goodrich was taking a break from a long day of work at the Native Top 50 basketball camp at Haskell University. By Tom Keegan

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Kansas Athletics, KU student government reach agreement for seating tweak at Allen Fieldhouse

By the time the 2017-18 men’s college basketball season rolls around, more than 400 Kansas fans who have had trouble getting into Allen Fieldhouse to see their Jayhawks will have access to seats. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: Dorance Armstrong's name recognition continues to expand

In what is sure to remain a recurring theme throughout his college football career, Kansas junior defensive lineman Dorance Armstrong Jr. keeps adding to his list of accolades. By Benton Smith

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Former KU star Frank Mason III staying true to his humble ways

Eight days after being selected with the No. 34 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by Sacramento, former Kansas point guard Frank Mason III is proving to be the same person KU fans came to know and love for the past four years. By Matt Tait

Thursday, June 29

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Former Missouri chancellor blames Bill Self for lack of Border War

According to former University of Missouri chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, one man has stood in the way of the Tigers renewing their Border War rivalry with the University of Kansas: Bill Self. By Matt Tait

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Tom Keegan: Respected recruiting analyst ranks Kansas women's basketball class No. 23 in nation

Entering his third season as women’s basketball coach at Kansas, Brandon Schneider is almost starting from scratch, welcoming a recruiting class of seven players, including four from junior colleges.

Wednesday, June 28

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Notebook: Beaty says scholarship numbers improving for KU football

Now that David Beaty has put in two-plus years worth of work into a massive reclamation project as the head football coach at the University of Kansas, one area where he can see real progress is on the scholarship front. By Benton Smith

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Former Jayhawk McLemore becomes unrestricted free agent

ESPN reported on Wednesday that the Sacramento Kings would not extend a qualifying offer to former Kansas standout Ben McLemore, thus making the fourth-year pro an unrestricted free agent. By Matt Tait

Tuesday, June 27

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'I refuse to lose': Assistant Tony Hull's personality makes him a hit for KU football

Once Tony Hull pursued jobs coaching high school football, he knew he ultimately wanted to be a college coach. Now that he’s accomplished that at age 35, Hull is doing something even more remarkable: he’s turning Kansas into a legitimate factor on the recruiting trail by plucking top tier-talent from Louisiana. By Evan Riggs

Monday, June 26

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Beaty pleased with KU's progress during the offseason

Counting down the days until the start of the upcoming college football season, Kansas coach David Beaty said the Jayhawks have the same hopes and dreams as all of the other programs. By Bobby Nightengale

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Larry Hadden wins first Ross Randall Par 3 Shootout

Some of the best golfers in the Kansas City/Lawrence area descended Monday on Twin Oaks, a golf learning center that features a driving range, a nine-hole pitch-and-putt course and lessons from teaching pro Jeff Burey, located off K-10 on the western edge of Eudora. By Tom Keegan

Two KU athletes qualify for track and field world championships

Hurdler Michael Stigler and discus thrower Mason Finley, a pair of former University of Kansas athletes, will represent Team USA at the track and field world championships to be held in London, Aug. 5 to Aug. 13.

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Recruiting Notebook: Kansas in good shape for 5-star, Class of 2018 shooting guard

Quentin Grimes, the No. 12 ranked player in the Class of 2018, is on the verge of cutting down his list to a handful of finalists and it appears that Kansas will be on it. By Matt Tait

Sunday, June 25

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Was this year's NBA draft the last to be dominated by college freshmen?

Young talent dominating draft night is nothing new in the NBA. The draft has been trending this way for years, with team executives preferring to pick potential and invest in long-range visions over taking proven but older players from the college ranks. However, there are plenty of people who believe this latest surge of one-and-done selections might have been the beginning of the end. By Matt Tait

Saturday, June 24

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Beaty's former college teammate enjoys chance to see recruiting up close

When Kansas football coach David Beaty met with Nick Williams, KU’s latest commit, on his unofficial visit to campus earlier this month, he saw a familiar face in the room. By Bobby Nightengale

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Tom Keegan: Local pros honor Ross Randall with tournament in Eudora

More than 40 years ago, Ross Randall noticed that a young boy at his summer golf camp didn’t have a pair of golf shoes. He also noticed the boy had unusually large feet for his age. So Randall grabbed a pair from his garage and gave them to the boy, who was delighted to find that his first pair of golf shoes fit just right and not only that they were worn by a golfer who used to compete against Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Lee Trevino.

Friday, June 23

Thompson misses cut in Springfield

Chris Thompson of Lawrence, a two-time golf All-American at University of Kansas, shot rounds of 70 and 74 to finish 2-over par, five strokes off the cut line in the Lincoln Land Charity Championship, a tour event in Springfield, Ill.

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Former Kansas golfer Ryan Vermeer in PGA Championship field

Vermeer, 39, made the field on his first try after winning the Nebraska Section championship and then finished in a seven-way tie for ninth in the PGA Professional Championship earlier this week. The top 20 in a field of 312 club professionals earned a spot in the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, N.C., Aug. 10-13.

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Suns, Josh Jackson share mutual excitement over KU freshman falling to Phoenix

It did not take long for former Kansas freshman Josh Jackson to find reasons to be thrilled about landing in Phoenix after being picked fourth overall in Thursday night's NBA Draft. And the Suns were quick to become equally as enamored with their new rookie. By Matt Tait

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Landen Lucas to join Boston Celtics' summer league squad

Ellis to play with Minnesota during NBA summer league action

Friday afternoon, former Kansas center Landen Lucas revealed on Twitter that he was joining the Celtics' summer league squad for sessions that run July 3-6 and July 7-17. By Matt Tait

Thursday, June 22

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Tom Keegan: NBA draft packed with suspenseful moments

Two suspenseful moments in the NBA draft came and went without hearing the name of a Kansas basketball player. By Tom Keegan

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Self says recent NBA draft pick Frank Mason III can impact Sacramento culture in a positive way

The Sacramento Kings struck again, selecting yet another Kansas basketball player, this time reigning national player of the year Frank Mason III at No. 34 overall in the second round of Thursday's NBA Draft. By Matt Tait

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Generations of friends reflect on life of Keith Loneker Sr., ex-Kansas offensive lineman

A remote family connection to former Kansas football coach Glen Mason led to Keith Loneker coming from Roselle Park, N.J., to Lawrence to play college football for Kansas. Loneker came to call Lawrence home after his professional football career ended.

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Phoenix Suns snag driven Josh Jackson with 4th pick in NBA Draft

Frank Mason III scooped up 34th by Sacramento

Former Kansas basketball standout Josh Jackson, who delivered one of the most impressive freshman seasons in the storied history of the KU program, on Thursday night became the fourth player in the Bill Self era to be selected in the Top 5 of the NBA Draft. By Matt Tait

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KU counting on donations to enable $300 million football stadium renovation

The University of Kansas is counting on a significant amount of donations to enable a planned $300 million renovation to Memorial Stadium.

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Former KU lineman Keith Loneker Sr. dies

Former Kansas and NFL offensive lineman Keith Loneker Sr. died Thursday after a battle with cancer.

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Lawrence baseball coach Brad Stoll thrilled to see former players drafted

It was the second time Bryce Montes de Oca went through the Major League Baseball Draft process, but it was still the same amount of joy for Lawrence High coach Brad Stoll.

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Jackson, Mason on the brink of becoming latest Jayhawks drafted into NBA

Thursday night in New York City, former Kansas basketball stars Josh Jackson and Frank Mason III will find out a little more about their futures than they know when they wake up. By Matt Tait

Wednesday, June 21

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Tom Keegan: Josh Jackson attractive trade bait

This year’s NBA draft makes for a particularly interesting guessing game, thanks to a deep pool of one-and-done prospects and to the presence of a team near the top of the draft closer to contending for a title than is typical for lottery participants. By Tom Keegan

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St. Louis offensive lineman commits to KU football; Louisiana safety decommits

The Kansas football program received one commitment and one de-commitment on the recruiting trail Wednesday. By Bobby Nightengale

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Zenger announces plans for renovation of Memorial Stadium, new indoor facility

During a meet-and-greet event for the Kansas football team Wednesday, KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger delivered news that renovation of Memorial Stadium and other football-related projects totaling $300 million are around the corner. By Bobby Nightengale

Tuesday, June 20

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Dorance Armstrong receives preseason All-American honors

Kansas junior defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. was named a preseason third-team All-American by Athlon Sports, the magazine announced Tuesday.

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DA: No suspect identified in McCarthy Hall rape allegation, case remains under review

Six months after the rape of a 16-year-old girl was reported at the University of Kansas men’s basketball dorm, the case remains unresolved. The case is still under review by the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office pending results of additional lab testing, Cheryl Wright Kunard, assistant to District Attorney Charles Branson, said this week.

Monday, June 19

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Tom Keegan: Optimism surrounding KU defense starts up front

Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong, with his long-and-strong arms and growing list of accomplishments, casts such a wide shadow it leaves little room for teammates from a 2-10 squad to get much of the spotlight, but Daniel Wise manages. By Tom Keegan

Sunday, June 18

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Tom Keegan: Conner VanCleave makes leap from Holcomb to Hoglund

Conner VanCleave isn’t like most athletes packed with baseball potential. For one thing, he stands 6-foot-7. For another, he plays three sports. Also, he’s not easy to label. Is he a pitcher? A first baseman? An outfielder? Yes, yes and yes. Give him a ball and he’ll have a ball playing with it until the classroom bell or dinner bell rings. By Tom Keegan

Former KU All-American Chris Thompson posts top 10 finish in event

Brad Ziegler is not unlike everybody else who has played golf with Chris Thompson at Lawrence Country Club in that he tracks his progress in professional tournaments on his phone, hoping to see another birdie pop up.

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More than a few to follow: Former KU stars enjoy keeping tabs on Jayhawks in the NBA

Already busy enough with trying to balance his own overseas playing career with time to watch his beloved alma mater at crazy hours, former Kansas point guard Russell Robinson is bracing for things to get even tougher this week. By Matt Tait

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As NBA trends smaller, former KU center Jeff Withey remains optimistic entering free agency

Watch an NBA game these days and, especially in crunch time, you will see more teams than ever leaving their traditional 7-foot centers on the bench, favoring a small lineup instead. The league is trending toward a pace-and-space, perimeter-oriented game with as many shooters and creators as possible. So where does that leave a good, old-fashioned rim protector, such as Jeff Withey, the all-time leading shot-blocker (311) at the University of Kansas? By Benton Smith

Saturday, June 17

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Hungry for more: KU's Khalil Herbert unsatisfied with freshman-year production

RB aims to make bigger impact in 2017

For all University of Kansas running back Khalil Herbert accomplished in his first season with the program last fall, it didn’t come close to leaving him satisfied. By Benton Smith

Friday, June 16

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Self will attend NBA Draft, hopeful Mason can sneak into 1st round

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self will travel to New York for the NBA Draft next week and he’s hopeful that two KU players will be selected in the first round. By Bobby Nightengale

Thursday, June 15

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KU football adds depth to O-line with former juco guard

The University of Kansas offensive line picked up an unexpected addition this summer, with guard Andru Tovi, formerly of Pima Community College (Ariz.), joining the program. By Benton Smith

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On the rise? Wayne Selden Jr. plenty pleased, motivated by NBA career path thus far

Playing a good chunk of his Kansas career in the shadows of All-American talents like Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Perry Ellis, former KU guard Wayne Selden put up good numbers, started a ton of games but never was deemed a can’t-miss NBA contributor. By Matt Tait

Wednesday, June 14

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Tom Keegan: Four-deep frontcourt not too shallow, per Mitch Lightfoot

Combined, KU's four frontcourt players have 49 minutes of playing time vs. Big 12 competition, all from Mitch Lightfoot.

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McLaughlin, Montes de Oca picked in final day of MLB Draft

University of Kansas shortstop Matt McLaughlin and Lawrence native Bryce Montes de Oca heard their names called during the third day of the Major League Draft on Wednesday.

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Freshman Billy Preston learns quickly to assert himself on court for KU

A McDonald’s All-American from prep powerhouse Oak Hill Academy (Va.), and a top-10 player in the Class of 2017, Billy Preston didn’t stand out much in his first scrimmage at the University of Kansas. Preston realized shortly thereafter his jitters got the best of him and resolved not to play like that again. KU’s latest touted freshman made the most of a second chance Wednesday afternoon. By Benton Smith

Tuesday, June 13

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Elijah Johnson sees big season ahead for Devonté Graham and Malik Newman

Over the past couple of weeks, with basketball’s offseason allotting him time to return to the University of Kansas campus where he spent four years, former Jayhawks guard Elijah Johnson has seen a lot of KU’s newest backcourt combination. It’s been enough for Johnson to envision senior Devonte’ Graham and sophomore Malik Newman collaborating to form a dynamic perimeter attack, typical of head coach Bill Self’s teams. By Benton Smith

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Two Kansas pitchers selected in MLB Draft

After combining to lead the Kansas bullpen all season, pitchers Blake Weiman and Stephen Villines were both picked in the Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday.

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KU freshman Marcus Garrett as confident as ever

In playing his way to Gatorade Texas Boys Basketball Player of the Year honors during the 2016-17 prep season, Kansas freshman Marcus Garrett's monster numbers were the result of elevated confidence that came from signing with the Jayhawks. By Matt Tait

Monday, June 12

Five Jayhawks part of Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Five Jayhawks are among 13 athletes being inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017.

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New KU point guard Charlie Moore thinks he can make U19 USA Basketball roster

A couple weeks after moving to Lawrence to join the University of Kansas basketball program, Cal transfer Charlie Moore has to pack some of his belongings right back up, so he can try out for USA Basketball’s Men’s U19 World Cup Team. By Benton Smith

Sunday, June 11

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KU's 2018 recruiting class bulks up with three D-line commitments

On a big recruiting weekend for the Kansas football program, third-year head coach David Beaty and his staff saw three hefty additions to their 2018 class. Thrice Sunday afternoon Beaty tweeted out his signature “neat deal” hashtag, signaling commitments from a trio of defensive linemen. By Benton Smith

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Transfer Sam Cunliffe finally comfortable at Kansas

Five months back, when he first arrived at the University of Kansas as a transfer from Arizona State, Sam Cunliffe didn’t know for certain how long it would be before he would start to feel at home in Lawrence. By Benton Smith

Saturday, June 10

KU women 18th at NCAA Outdoor

Kansas sophomore LaTyria Jefferson placed 18th in the women’s high jump Saturday night at the NCAA Outdoor in Eugene, Ore., and the KU women finished 18th in the team standings.

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Report: Former Jayhawk Coleby headed to Western Kentucky

According to a report from college basketball analyst Jon Rothstein, former Kansas forward Dwight Coleby is headed to Western Kentucky to play out his eligibility. By Matt Tait

Friday, June 9

KU men 11th at NCAA Outdoor

A pair of All-American performances helped send Kansas’ men’s track team to an 11th-place finish Friday at the NCAA Outdoor in Eugene, Ore.

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Former KU standout Ben McLemore eager to take next step in NBA career

Former Kansas standout Ben McLemore played during Thursday night’s Rock Chalk Roundball Classic charity game at Free State High like the entire NBA world was watching. By Matt Tait

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Jayhawks Lokedi and Conley take bronze at NCAAs

University of Kansas track standouts Sharon Lokedi and Sydney Conley helped the Jayhawks capture a pair of bronze medals late Thursday at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

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Tom Keegan: Bob Stoops did not say he is retired from coaching

Two banners and one big bummer in a wild eight-day stretch for the Oklahoma athletic department left Sooners fans little time to boast and a great deal of time to scratch their heads.

Thursday, June 8

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Young guns steal show at Rock Chalk Roundball Classic

Crimson tops Blue, 104-101, in competitive clash of former Jayhawks

If former Jayhawks Ben McLemore and Wayne Selden had staged a head-to-head dunk contest Thursday night instead of playing their roles on opposite teams in the ninth annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic, the sold-out crowd at Free State High likely would have walked away just as happy. By Matt Tait

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Sherron Collins finds better use for old game-worn KU jersey

In town this week to play in Thursday night’s Rock Chalk Roundball Classic at Free State High, Collins had in his car one of his old Kansas jerseys, which he planned to deposit in his trove. But when he heard KU play-by-play announcer Brian Hanni, organizer of the annual fundraiser for Kansas families battling cancer, auctioning off items at halftime of the event, Collins got another idea. By Benton Smith

Sooner surprise: Okla. coach Bob Stoops retires at 56

Like a well-executed blitz, Bob Stoops shocked the college football world.

Wednesday, June 7

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Tom Keegan: Udoka Azubuike huge in every way in return to court

It takes a big, big man to make Darnell Jackson look small by comparison but Udoka Azubuike did it in Wednesday's camp scrimmage.

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Graham, Newman lead current Jayhawks past star-studded cast of former players at camp scrimmage

Facing a handful of former national champions and a couple of current pros, KU’s backcourt duo of Devonte’ Graham and Malik Newman combined for 46 points to lead the blue squad to an 82-75 victory over the red alums at Wednesday's camp scrimmage game at Horejsi Family Athletics Center. By Matt Tait

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Former Jayhawk Aldrich all in on Roundball Classic cause

Forever appreciative of all of the support he has received from dozens of current and former Kansas basketball players, Rock Chalk Roundball Classic founder Brian Hanni has a special spot in his heart for the contributions of one former KU standout. By Matt Tait

Tuesday, June 6

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KU center Udoka Azubuike back in action at full strength

Kansas big man Udoka Azubuike returned to action at full speed and full strength on Tuesday afternoon, at first wowing campers at Bill Self’s annual summer camp with powerful dunks and jams for 30 minutes and then running through a full-court, full-contact session of pick-up ball with teammates new and old for another 30 minutes. By Matt Tait

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KU Athletics budget will increase to $93.3 million next year

University of Kansas Athletics expects its budget to increase to $93.3 million next year.

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Three-star DE Miles Emery commits to KU football

Back in February, the University of Kansas football staff became the first to offer Blue Valley North defensive lineman Miles Emery a spot among the college ranks. Since then offers came from Oklahoma, Louisville and other programs, but on Tuesday morning Emery decided to stick with David Beaty and company. By Benton Smith

Monday, June 5

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KU freshman RB Dom Williams arrives ready to work

Before incoming freshman Dom Williams left Texas behind this past weekend to begin his college football career at the University of Kansas, the four-star running back had one last thing to do Saturday: snag his diploma at Independence High’s graduation ceremony. By Benton Smith

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Former KU guard Jeremy Case eager to relive memories of 2008 national title

Former Kansas basketball player Jeremy Case, who these days spends his time working as the video coordinator on Bill Self’s coaching staff, took time during the first official day of Self’s summer basketball camps on Monday to reflect on something he had thought a lot about during the past several years — KU’s 2008 national championship. By Matt Tait

Sunday, June 4

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KU's Devonté Graham excited to see new-look Kansas basketball team come together

During his three-plus seasons as a Jayhawk to date, Kansas guard Devonte’ Graham has become accustomed to looking around the KU basketball facilities and seeing at least a few familiar faces suiting up next to him. By Matt Tait

Saturday, June 3

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Upcoming Rock Chalk Roundball Classic to benefit children, celebrate KU's 2008 title team

Thursday night, on Lawrence’s west side, first-year voice of the Jayhawks Brian Hanni will host his ninth annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic at Free State High. While this year’s charity game, which, like all of the others before it, will be played to raise money for the families of four young people battling cancer, it also will have a special secondary purpose. By Matt Tait

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Big 12 strong financially; teams split $348M in revenue

The Big 12 Conference reported another year of record revenue Friday, with school officials saying it was proof of financial strength.

Friday, June 2

Community service, alcohol class ordered for woman who got in fight with KU basketball player

A woman accused of picking a fight with a University of Kansas basketball player she was dating last winter must perform community service and take an alcohol class as a result.

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Will forward Billy Preston be KU's next great freshman?

In what has become an annual ritual around Lawrence and Jayhawk Nation, the arrival of June means all eyes turn to the next incoming freshman who ranks highest on the recruiting boards. In this case that's 6-foot-10 forward Billy Preston. But what exactly he can and will do for the Jayhawks during the 2017-18 season remains unknown. By Matt Tait

Thursday, June 1

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Self: All but 2 Jayhawks expected to report to campus this weekend

KU's complete non-conference schedule released

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self told the Journal-World on Thursday that he expected all but two players on the Jayhawks’ 2017-18 roster to report to campus by this weekend in time for next week’s Bill Self Basketball Camps.

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District attorney requests additional testing in McCarthy Hall rape case

The Douglas County District Attorney’s Office is seeking more testing in the case of a 16-year-old girl’s alleged rape at the University of Kansas men’s basketball dorm.