Stories for May 2017


Wednesday, May 31

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KU assistant Jerrance Howard has ties to both teams in this year's NBA Finals

When Game 1 of the NBA Finals tips off in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday night, Kansas basketball assistant Jerrance Howard will be one of the few people in the building torn between the two teams. By Matt Tait

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Kickoff times, broadcast plans set for four KU football games this fall

On the first day of the league’s annual business meetings in Irving, Texas, the Big 12 Conference on Wednesday revealed kickoff times and television selections for the first three weeks of the upcoming 2017 season, and while only one of the Kansas Jayhawks’ three non-conference games will air on a national television network, the rebuilding program’s other two early-season contests will air live locally or be available to stream online. By Benton Smith

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KU's Andrea Hudy earns NSCA Impact Award

The National Strength and Conditioning Association on Wednesday confirmed something that those connected to Kansas basketball already believed — Andrea Hudy is a treasure. Set to begin her 14th season with the KU men’s basketball program, Hudy on Wednesday received the NSCA’s Impact Award given annually since 1997 to “an individual whose career has greatly contributed to the advancement of the national or international strength and conditioning or fitness industries.”

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Majority of KU AD's $700K salary to be paid by private funds; KU says negotiations began more than 6 months ago

Kansas Athletics Inc. — as opposed to state dollars — will pay the majority of University of Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger’s salary, which was recently raised to $700,000 and extended for another four years.

Tuesday, May 30

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KU athletic director's contract extension features $40,000 bonus for a winning football season

How much is a winning football season worth? An extra $40,000 a year for University of Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger. That annual performance bonus is among specific perks — rather, potential perks — outlined in Zenger’s latest contract renewal, requested and obtained Tuesday by the Journal-World.

Tom Keegan: Winning ways generally requirement for No. 1 overall draft pick

Bill Walton so dominated right from the start of his UCLA career that it was unthinkable that anyone could get the better of him in the post. So when LaRue Martin totaled 19 points and 18 rebounds, compared to Walton’s 18 points and 16 rebounds, Martin instantly was deemed a terrific NBA prospect.

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Full speed ahead: KU forward Mitch Lightfoot laying the foundation for a bigger role

With Landen Lucas gone from the Kansas basketball roster, sophomore-to-be Mitch Lightfoot is poised to step into the role of Kansas big man who has played the most games in a Jayhawk uniform. By Matt Tait

Monday, May 29

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Tom Keegan: Outgoing chancellor jumped gun on incoming chancellor

So let me get this straight: Dr. Doug Girod was chosen to lead the University of Kansas into the next decade but the retiring boss gets to decide who will lead the new chancellor’s athletic department. By Tom Keegan

Sunday, May 28

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Spring experimentation lands Maciah Long at defensive end

Entering spring practices, Kansas football coaches weren’t entirely sure what to do with sophomore Maciah Long. When offseason practices kicked off in March, Long found himself taking reps at linebacker. At the time, defensive coordinator Clint Bowen said KU’s staff was just trying to experiment and find the best fit for Long and his athletic frame. By Benton Smith

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Tom Keegan: Six prospects stand above rest in NBA draft

The one-and-done college basketball culture created by the NBA, which wanted a free look at top prospects competing for a year against college competition, decreases the chances of completing whiffing with the first pick of the draft. By Tom Keegan

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KU AD Sheahon Zenger receives contract extension through June 2021

Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger, who took over for Lew Perkins in early 2011 recently received a contract extension through June of 2021 from outgoing chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. By Matt Tait

Saturday, May 27

TCU blanks KU baseball, 6-0

Brian Howard pitched a four-hit shutout, and TCU defeated Kansas, 6-0, to knock the Jayhawks out of the Big 12 baseball tournament Friday night in Oklahoma City.

Friday, May 26

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Zenger: New KU chancellor Doug Girod has shown strong interest in supporting athletics

Although the biggest roles and responsibilities of newly named University of Kansas chancellor Dr. Doug Girod figure to land well outside of the world of college athletics, KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger said Friday that the university was well positioned for whatever crossover may exist. By Matt Tait

Texas defeats Kansas, 5-4, in Big 12 baseball tournament

Texas used a complete game from freshman right-hander Nolan Kingham to escape with a 5-4 victory Thursday night over Kansas at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.

Thursday, May 25

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Safety Sam Skwarlo leaves KU football after redshirt season

Former FSHS standout switching back to RB

After a year of Division I college football in his hometown, former Free State High standout Sam Skwarlo decided to leave the University of Kansas behind in search of a more prominent role. By Benton Smith

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Tom Keegan: Teammates pushing for playing time can rev Svi's motor

For three seasons, I have watched nearly every minute Svi Mykhaliuk has played for Kansas and still I couldn’t figure it out: Does he play with less energy than most of his teammates or is he just not as quick?

KU tennis players make 21st-century history at NCAA Doubles Championship

Senior Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum and sophomore Nina Khmelnitckaia combined to achieve a 21st-century first for the Kansas tennis program Thursday in the NCAA Doubles Championship at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia.

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KU center Udoka Azubuike expected to return to full-contact drills next week

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike’s recovery from the wrist injury that cost him the final three months and 25 games of the 2016-17 season remains in good shape. By Matt Tait

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Bill Self wants to see a more aggressive Svi Mykhailiuk during senior season

Less than 18 hours after learning that junior Svi Mykhailiuk would return to Kansas for his senior season, KU basketball coach Bill Self already was thinking about what more the Ukrainian wing could do to help the Jayhawks in 2017-18. By Matt Tait

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Kansas basketball to host Texas A&M in 2018 Big 12/SEC Challenge

The Big 12, SEC and ESPN on Thursday released the match-ups for college basketball's 2018 Big 12/SEC Challenge and the Jayhawks are in line to face a familiar foe. By Matt Tait

Wednesday, May 24

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Svi Mykhailiuk announces he will return for senior season

Svi Mykhailiuk’s days of draining 3-pointers at the University of Kansas aren’t over just yet. The junior from Ukraine announced Wednesday his intentions to return to KU for his senior season, instead of keeping his name in the 2017 NBA Draft. By Benton Smith

Kansas upsets TCU, 7-3, in Big 12 baseball tournament

Kansas used a four-run eighth inning and a strong start from left-hander Taylor Turski to upset TCU, 7-3, in the first round of the Big 12 baseball tournament Wednesday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.

Tuesday, May 23

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Tom Keegan: Look for some changes now that Bill Self has been elected president

Now that Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has been elected president (of the National Association of College Basketball Coaches) what exactly does that mean to the state of college basketball?

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Josh Jackson convicted of hitting unattended vehicle; in separate criminal damage case, diversion requires apology, anger classes

Former University of Kansas basketball player Josh Jackson was convicted of a misdemeanor traffic violation Tuesday, several weeks after he entered into a diversion agreement regarding a criminal damage charge filed against him in a separate case.

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KU's Self takes over as NABC president

A member of the board of directors since 2007, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self is set to begin his two-year stint as president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the NABC announced Tuesday. By Matt Tait

Monday, May 22

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Jayhawks expect QB Peyton Bender to come 'out of his shell'

Upon spending 15 spring practices and many more unofficial, player-organized sessions with new Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender, receiver Steven Sims Jr. caught enough balls from the former Washington State QB to know Bender had the type of arm the Jayhawks’ Air Raid offense needed. It left Sims eager to see how the possible starting quarterback would handle some other intangibles that come with that position. By Benton Smith

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KU center Mesa Ribordy makes spring watch list

Just one season into his college football career at the University of Kansas, sophomore offensive lineman Mesa Ribordy finds himself on the Rimington Trophy Committee’s spring watch list, tracking Division I’s top centers for the 2017 season. By Benton Smith

Sunday, May 21

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Dynamic four-guard lineup required complete buy-in from Kansas coaches, players

When Kansas basketball assistant coach Kurtis Townsend first got wind of the idea that KU coach Bill Self wanted to tinker with a four-guard lineup for the 2016-17 season, Townsend was hardly surprised. By Matt Tait

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Tom Keegan: Josh Jackson would make a great Celtic

Nobody can dispute the identity of the greatest champion in the history of team sports. Bill Russell won 11 NBA titles in 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics.

Saturday, May 20

Kansas baseball swept by Tech

Kansas’ baseball team concluded its regular season with a 9-4 loss to Texas Tech on Saturday in Lubbock, Texas.

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Newest KU walk-on Chris Teahan eager to suit up for Jayhawks

Last month, 6-foot-5, 180-pound shooting guard Chris Teahan announced that he would join the Kansas basketball team as a walk-on this summer. With only graduation and a couple of weeks of waiting standing between him and his dream school, the former Rockhurst High standout is ready to roll. By Matt Tait

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Tom Keegan: Ross Randall Par 3 Shootout set for Twin Oaks in June

The mad scientist in long-time club pro Jeff Burey has come up with another terrific idea for an unconventional, entertaining day of golf.

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Early high school grad Kyron Johnson ahead of schedule thanks to spring experience

Speedy freshman KU linebacker enrolled early

The past several months could have been a breeze for Kyron Johnson. A semester’s worth of classes to wrap up his days at Lamar High, in Arlington, Texas. Some weight-lifting and conditioning to stay in football shape. Hanging out with longtime friends before they all parted ways as incoming freshmen at various universities. Johnson, though, opted for a more demanding path, in order to get a head start on his college career. By Benton Smith

Friday, May 19

Texas Tech rolls past KU baseball

Texas Tech broke a tie with a four-run fifth inning, then added six runs in the sixth and defeated Kansas, 16-4, in Big 12 baseball Friday night in Lubbock, Texas.

Thursday, May 18

Texas Tech hammers Kansas, 10-6, in baseball series opener

Texas Tech slammed 15 hits, five for extra bases, and drew five walks to win the opener of a three-game baseball series in Lubbock against Kansas, 10-6.

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List of schools pursuing former Jayhawk Dwight Coleby starting to take shape

Stephen F. Austin site,, reported Thursday that the school is one of several programs considering adding Kansas big man Dwight Coleby. By Matt Tait

KU men’s golf falls short of NCAA Championship

Kansas saved its best day for last at the men’s golf regional in Austin, but it wasn’t good enough for the Jayhawks to make it to the NCAA Championship.

Tuesday, May 16

Kansas fades deeper from contention at NCAA men's golf regional

Too many big numbers dotted too many Kansas scorecards Tuesday during the second day of the NCAA men’s golf regional at The University of Texas Golf Club in Austin.

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Tom Keegan: Jayhawks will go as far as Udoka Azubuike can take them

It’s that time of year again when a national media outlet picks Kansas No. 1 in its way-too-early college basketball top 25.

Kansas baseball game at Creighton canceled

Severe weather resulted in the cancellation of Kansas' nonconference baseball game against Creighton in Omaha scheduled for Tuesday. The game will not be made up.

Monday, May 15

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Senior forward Dwight Coleby leaving Kansas basketball program

Big man's departure clears up KU's scholarship questions

Kansas forward Dwight Coleby, who graduated from KU on Sunday, announced Monday evening that he will be leaving Lawrence and seeking playing time elsewhere.By Matt Tait

Kansas falls behind at first day of NCAA men's golf regional in Austin

The Kansas men’s golf team dug itself a hole Monday in Austin, Texas, that it will need to dig out from the next two days in order to advance to the NCAA championships in Sugar Grove, Ill.

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Former Olathe D-lineman Zach Burks commits to Kansas

The University of Kansas added another piece to its 2018 recruiting class Monday when former Olathe North High defensive lineman Zach Burks committed to head coach David Beaty’s rebuilding program. By Benton Smith

Sunday, May 14

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Champions cap second-place finish for KU men's track and field at Big 12 meet

Mitch Cooper (discus), Strymar Livingston (800 meters) and Hussain Al Hizam (pole vault) won their respective events on Sunday at Rock Chalk Park to help the Kansas men's track and field team to a second-place finish at the Big 12 Championships. Sharon Lokedi won the 5,000-meter run to cap a fifth-place finish for the KU women'

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Jayhawks drop series finale to K-State, 10-3

The Kansas baseball team may have lost the series finale with K-State, 10-3 on a sunny Sunday at Hoglund Ballpark, but the end of the Jayhawks' eight-game winning streak did not leave them feeling like it was the end of the world thanks to victories in the first two games of the series, which gave KU its first series win over the Wildcats since 2014. By Matt Tait

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KU coach Bill Self says Dwight Coleby is considering his future at Kansas

Kansas forward Dwight Coleby’s walk down Campanile Hill on Sunday during KU’s graduation festivities made his status as a college graduate official. And that makes his immediate future a little more interesting. By Matt Tait

Saturday, May 13

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Conley wins long jump title to pace KU track on Day Two of Big 12 meet

Kansas senior Sydney Conley won her second Big 12 title in the women's long jump to lead the Jayhawks on Day Two of the Big 12 track and field championships on Saturday at Rock Chalk Park.

Kansas tennis eliminated from NCAA tourney

Notre Dame’s Allison Miller defeated Kansas’ Janet Koch, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5, in a decisive match at No. 3 singles and the Irish topped the Jayhawks, 4-3, in an NCAA first-round women’s tennis match Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.

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Rivalry rally: Jayhawks take series with big 7th inning

Down three runs, KU’s seven-game winning streak appeared in danger before junior shortstop Matt McLaughlin stepped into the batter’s box with the bases loaded and no outs. The No. 3 hitter cracked a game-tying, three-run double down the left-field line, setting the stage for a 6-4 comeback victory. By Benton Smith

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Jayhawks Mason, Coleby and a blast from the past set to graduate Sunday

KU seniors Frank Mason, Dwight Coleby and one surprise from the not-too-distant past will join hundreds of other students for graduation ceremonies Sunday on the KU campus. By Matt Tait

Friday, May 12

Lokedi, Dudarev win Big 12 track and field titles for Kansas at Rock Chalk Park

Kansas junior Sharon Lokedi won her second Big 12 10,000-meter title Friday night and freshman Gleb Dudarev set a school record in the hammer throw to win that event in the first day of the Big 12 track and field championships at Rock Chalk Park.

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Kansas takes baseball series opener from Kansas State, 5-4

Tie ballgame, bottom of the eighth inning at Hoglund Ballpark in the Sunflower Showdown. Two balls, two strikes, two outs, two men on base, too much work left to be done to convince the NCAA baseball tournament selection committee to grant an at-large bid to Kansas for the Jayhawks to let this opportunity slip away.

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Self: Ankle injury not devastating for KU guard Svi Mykhailiuk

An ankle injury that plagued him during portions of Thursday’s on-court competition at the NBA combine in Chicago forced Kansas junior Svi Mykhailiuk to withdraw from the remainder of the week's combine workouts. But KU coach Bill Self said Mykhailiuk’s absence during Friday’s drills and scrimmages should not hurt the guard’s stock too much. By Matt Tait

Big 12 track and field championships at Rock Chalk Park

The Big 12 track and field championships will take place Friday through Sunday at Rock Chalk Park. The meet gets underway Friday at 11 a.m. with decathletes competing in the 100-meter dash and concludes Sunday night with team-championship presentations.

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Mason, Svi showcase their skills at combine

Moments after calling this summer’s 2017 NBA Draft “point guard heavy,” former Duke standout and current ESPN analyst Jay Williams pinpointed former Kansas star Frank Mason III as one of the players he most was looking forward to watching during Thursday’s 5-on-5 scrimmages at the pre-draft combine in Chicago.

Thursday, May 11

Tom Keegan: California Dreamer took indirect path to Big 12 weekend pitcher

When Taylor Turski was 10, he told his father he wanted to play baseball in the Big 12. When he was 13, he told his dad he couldn’t wait to turn 18, so that he could begin the process of covering himself in tattoos. When he was 21, nearly three full years from last having thrown a baseball, he told his father he wanted to resume his baseball career.

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Lucas: Former teammate Frank Mason III ready to 'put on a show'

Count former Kansas big man Landen Lucas in the camp that believes reigning national player of the year Frank Mason III is well on his way to keeping his basketball mojo going. By Matt Tait

How former Jayhawks fared in NBA games of May 10, 2017

Here's a look at how former Kansas players fared in NBA playoff games of May 10, 2017.

Wednesday, May 10

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KU police complete investigation into reported rape of 16-year-old at basketball dorm; DA considering charges

The Douglas County District Attorney’s Office is now considering charges in the reported rape of a 16-year-old girl at the apartment building that’s home to the University of Kansas men’s basketball team.

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Better depth means no more shuffling on KU offensive line

Throughout his first two years coaching the Kansas football team’s offensive linemen, assistant coach Zach Yenser often found himself mixing and matching players at various positions. Sometimes curiosity sparked his tinkering, but often it was fueled by necessity. During recently completed March and April offseason practices, though, the third-year KU assistant got to take a different approach. By Benton Smith

Tuesday, May 9

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Tom Keegan: Lawson family could make Lawrence a high school basketball hotbed too

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self understandably was delighted to welcome not one, but two talented Lawson brothers into the program from native Memphis. Try to imagine the extent of euphoria a high school coach would experience if he could do the same and welcome a pair of Lawson brothers into his basketball program.

Hanna, Hudson reach sectional

Big 12 individual men’s golf champion Chase Hanna and Kansas teammate Daniel Hudson moved on to the sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open, each carding a 4-under par 67 Monday at The Legends Country Club in Eureka, Mo.

Monday, May 8

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KU officially introduces new forward Jack Whitman

Although the former William & Mary forward himself both confirmed and explained why he was leaving to join the Kansas basketball program last week, the Jayhawks made it official on Monday with a news release announcing the addition of graduate transfer Jack Whitman. By Matt Tait

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NBA combine offers golden opportunity for three Jayhawks

The annual NBA combine is set to begin Tuesday in Chicago, and it figures to be as interesting as any in recent memory for fans of Kansas basketball. By Matt Tait

Sunday, May 7

How former Jayhawks fared in NBA games of May 7, 2017

Here's a look at how former Kansas players fared in NBA playoff games of May 7, 2017.

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Landen Lucas Foundation gaining steam, already giving back

Back in Lawrence briefly over the weekend before returning to Daytona, Fla., to continue the grind of three workouts a day, rest, recovery and repeat while waiting for whatever pro basketball opportunities present themselves, former Kansas center Landen Lucas spent most of the past few days sprinting full-speed-ahead with his newly created Landen Lucas Foundation - Sports for Life, which aims to help fund the athletic endeavors of young people in Lawrence who may otherwise not be able to afford to participate in sports. By Matt Tait

KU baseball completes series sweep

Just over a month ago, the Kansas baseball team was five games under .500, and a lack of plate discipline was one of the biggest culprits. Fast-forward to Sunday, and the Jayhawks are now five games over .500 (27-22) and have turned that weakness into a strength.

Late ISU rally dooms KU, 3-2

Iowa State rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh and defeated Kansas, 3-2, in Big 12 softball Sunday in Ames, Iowa.

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Tom Keegan: Jack Whitman addition makes sense on many levels for Kansas

When a basketball player transfers from William & Mary to Kansas, it’s not difficult to predict the questions that immediately surface, such as: William and Mary? Jack Whitman? Why Jack Whitman?

Saturday, May 6

Kansas baseball sweeps twinbill

Early in Saturday’s doubleheader, Kansas baseball looked like a team playing its sixth game in seven days, as well as its second doubleheader in that time frame. Coach Ritch Price noted the velocity of a lot of his pitchers was down from earlier in the week, and freshman James Cosentino admitted the team was worn out.

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Jayhawk seniors conclude Barnstorming tour

Outgoing Kansas basketball seniors Landen Lucas, Frank Mason III and Tyler Self capped their summer Barnstorming tour Saturday night at Blue Valley Northwest High with the final edition of a series of scrimmages designed to deliver as many smiles and laughs as awe-inspiring basketball moments.

KU softball falls to Iowa State

Iowa State scored three runs in the second inning and held on for a 3-2 victory over Kansas in Big 12 softball Saturday in Ames, Iowa.

Friday, May 5

KU baseball rolls to 20-4 triumph

Kansas’ baseball team scored 11 runs in the fourth inning and defeated Texas Southern, 20-4, on Friday night at Hoglund Ballpark.

Kansas softball falls to ISU, 1-0

Iowa State scored in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 1-0 victory over Kansas in Big 12 softball Friday at Cyclone Sports Complex in Ames, Iowa.

Thursday, May 4

How former Jayhawks fared in NBA games of May 4, 2017

Here's a look at how former Kansas players fared in NBA playoff games of May 4, 2017.

Oubre booted from Wizards’ win over Celtics

John Wall scored 24 points, Isaiah Thomas was held to 13 and the Washington Wizards jumped out to a hot start and rode it to a 116-89 victory over the Boston Celtics in a technical foul-filled Game 3 on Thursday night to cut their series deficit to 2-1.

Tom Keegan: Kansas men's golf coach Jamie Bermel has team in NCAA regionals again

The fifth year of a rebuilding project generally is considered the first truly fair time to take the temperature of a college coach in any sport. Enough time has passed that the entire roster was brought in by the coach, who also has had ample opportunity to establish a culture.

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Former KU QB Montell Cozart transferring to Boise State

Former Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart has found his next college football stop. A starter for the Jayhawks at various points over the past four seasons, Cozart decided Thursday to transfer to Boise State.

Wednesday, May 3

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Offseason improvement critical for KU's inexperienced cornerbacks

The 2017 Kansas football season is still four months away. And no one working inside Anderson Family Football Complex is happier about that length of time than cornerbacks coach Kenny Perry. Charged with training the least experienced unit in the program this spring, saying the co-defensive coordinator had a lot to tackle, Perry will tell you, is an understatement. By Benton Smith

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Tom Keegan: Seven original KU recruits plus seven transfers equals one talented roster

By the time Kansas basketball players start summer school in June, the roster will be down to 13 scholarship players. At the moment, it stands at 14 and exactly half are originally signed with Kansas. That makes it easy to split the rosters into two teams: The Originals vs. the Transfers. By Tom Keegan

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Report: Carlton Bragg Jr. to transfer to Arizona State

According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, former Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. has decided to transfer to Arizona State.

KU baseball trips Missouri State

Pinch-hitter Marcus Wheeler singled home two runs in the sixth inning to put Kansas ahead to stay, and the Jayhawks’ baseball team defeated Missouri State, 8-5, on Tuesday night at Hoglund Ballpark.

Kansas tennis tapped for NCAA

Kansas’ women’s tennis team was selected Tuesday for the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks (13-10) will meet Notre Dame (17-9) at 8 a.m. Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.

How former Jayhawks fared in NBA games of May 2, 2017

Here's a look at how former Kansas players fared in NBA playoff games of May 2, 2017.

Tuesday, May 2

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New KU forward Jack Whitman eager to test skills at Kansas

The Kansas men’s basketball program added some front-court depth Tuesday through yet another transfer when William & Mary graduate transfer Jack Whitman announced his pledge to play at Kansas during his senior season.By Matt Tait

Monday, May 1

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Tom Keegan: KU football offense projects as best since 2009

Counting backwards from 2016, this is where the Kansas football team’s offense finished the past four seasons in scoring among FBS schools, of which there now are 128: ninth-worst, sixth-worst, 11th-worst, fifth-worst. By Tom Keegan

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Matthew Wyman accepts rookie-camp tryout invitation from Chiefs

Among the 253 picks in the NFL Draft this past week, only three were used on kickers. Like many un-drafted, long-shot specialists, former Kansas kicker Matthew Wyman will attempt to break into the professional ranks the hard way. By Benton Smith