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Stories for December 2018

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Monday, December 31

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Individual honors, postseason success highlight Top 10 KU sports stories of 2018

Another year has come and gone for Kansas athletics and, like so many years before it, 2018 offered a wide range of good moments and bad ones, memorable names and faces and a few accomplishments that will live in KU’s history books forever. By Matt Tait

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KU's Bill Self believes Jayhawks' best practices will come in next 2 weeks

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self is known for getting serious improvement out of his teams and players during winter break. And while the Jayhawks have had time to work on a few things during the past couple of weeks, Self said Monday that the bulk of the work and progress is still ahead. By Matt Tait

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Benton Smith: Quentin Grimes on trajectory for offensive breakthrough

Ranked No. 5 in the nation and boasting an 11-1 record entering conference play, the Kansas basketball team, for as well as it has played, has not yet exhibited its full capacity on the court. The Jayhawks have a potential to play at an even higher level, and Quentin Grimes is talented enough to take them there. By Benton Smith

Sunday, December 30

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KU guard Marcus Garrett offers Jayhawks flexibility as a starter or reserve

Saturday’s return of KU junior Udoka Azubuike had ripple effects felt throughout the Jayhawks’ lineup. One day after Kansas basketball coach Bill Self talked about easing up on the high volume of minutes he had been giving KU guard Marcus Garrett in Azubuike’s absence, the sophomore from Dallas returned to the bench for the opening tip and played just 18 minutes in the Jayhawks’ 87-63 win over Eastern Michigan at Allen Fieldhouse. By Matt Tait

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Jayhawks crush Catamounts by 41 behind dominating defense

A flurry of late buckets by Vermont spoiled Kansas’ chances of setting a record, but it did not take away from what was a dominating defensive performance. KU closed out an impressive run through the nonconference with 77-36 route of Vermont Sunday afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks were suffocating on defense and overwhelming on offense to wrap up a 10-1 record in the nonconference portion of its schedule.

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Benton Smith: Jayhawks' 4-guard lineup now more of a backup plan

With the new year and the Jayhawks’ Big 12 schedule on the horizon, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self isn’t ready to completely abandon the concept of a four-guard lineup and leave it behind in 2018. However, KU’s two most effective offensive players happen to be bigs, so Self will lean on a less modern look and not think twice about doing so. By Benton Smith

Saturday, December 29

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Benton Smith: Azubuike's return unlocks Dedric Lawson's prolific passing skills

For more than a month, the superb passing skills of Dedric Lawson seemed to go dormant. Gone were the high assist totals that characterized the big forward’s first handful of games in a Kansas basketball uniform. Blame the circumstances for the dip more than anything else, and credit the return of center Udoka Azubuike for bringing Lawson’s distribution skills back to life.

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Udoka Azubuike returns to help No. 5 KU dominate Eastern Michigan

For the first time in 25 days, Kansas junior Udoka Azubuike was back in the starting lineup for the Jayhawks on Saturday, taking his usual spot in the jump circle to start KU’s final tuneup for Big 12 Conference play. Although Azubuike’s presence in the starting lineup came as a surprise to the sold-out Allen Fieldhouse crowd, what followed it was even more of a surprise to the Jayhawks themselves.

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Notebook: Jayhawks employ different defensive scheme against Eagles

The result of Eastern Michigan’s first possession showed it, and, after the game, EMU senior James Thompson IV confirmed it. KU’s plan to double-team the post during Saturday’s 87-63 Kansas victory at Allen Fieldhouse completely caught the Eagles off guard.

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Quick recap: No. 5 Kansas closes out 2018 with convincing win over EMU

The Jayhawks could not have asked for a better way to close out 2018. No. 5 Kansas (11-1) responded from its first loss of the season by dominating Eastern Michigan from the jump during an 87-63 victory Saturday afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse. KU, which led for over 37 minutes of its last game before the start of Big 12 play, never trailed by more than three points.

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Game day: No. 5 Kansas basketball vs. Eastern Michigan

A look at some of the keys for fifth-ranked Kansas in today's home clash with Eastern Michigan in what will be the Jayhawks' final tune-up before the start of Big 12 Conference play. By Matt Tait

Friday, December 28

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Kansas DBs coach Chevis Jackson excited for reunion with Les Miles

Back in his playing days at LSU, when Chevis Jackson was a cornerback helping the Tigers and their head coach, Les Miles, win both an SEC and BCS championship, he didn’t exactly spend any of his spare time pondering the idea of one day becoming Miles’ colleague. By Benton Smith

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Benton Smith: Easing Udoka Azubuike back into rotation now good for KU's long-term success

Udoka Azubuike isn’t likely to start on Saturday. In fact, Azubuike might only play a few minutes. But it’s important for the Jayhawks’ longterm trajectory that they get the most enormous of their bigs back in the mix as soon as possible. By Benton Smith

Thursday, December 27

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Ezra Naylor determined to evolve as WR with KU football

Ezra Naylor’s statistical production this past fall during his brief stopover with the Iowa Central Community College football program might not blow some people away. However, over the course of playing in 11 games and making 19 receptions for 292 yards and a touchdown, Naylor accomplished one of his personal preseason goals: showcasing enough of his abilities as a prospect to grab the attention of FBS coaches. By Benton Smith

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KU junior Dedric Lawson taking full advantage of life on the big stage

For the second offseason in a row, after singing the praises of former KU transfer Malik Newman a year earlier, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self spent a fair amount of time talking up Memphis transfer Dedric Lawson in the months leading up to the 2018-19 season. So far, Lawson sure is making his head coach look like a genius for it. By Matt Tait

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KU center Udoka Azubuike's status still in doubt for Saturday vs. Eastern Michigan

If injured junior Udoka Azubuike returns to action on Saturday, when the fifth-ranked Kansas basketball team hosts Eastern Michigan to close out the calendar year, he won’t be playing at 100 percent. By Matt Tait

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Washington earns second Big 12 Player of the Week honor of season

Jessica Washington helped Kansas win its division at the Duel in the Desert before the holiday break and her efforts in Las Vegas didn't go unnoticed, as Washington was named Big 12 Player of the Week Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday, December 26

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Matt Tait: Big 12 men's basketball race far from a foregone conclusion

With the fifth-ranked Kansas men’s basketball team now less than a week away from the actual start of its run toward a 15th consecutive Big 12 Conference regular season title, the conference’s list of true challengers has basically been divided right down the middle, with four teams looking like real threats, four teams currently struggling and one team — Kansas State — split down the middle as a sort of unknown because of an injury to star forward Dean Wade. By Matt Tait

Tuesday, December 25

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Current KU big men soak up advice from former Jayhawk Landen Lucas in an effort to improve post defense

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has not been shy about offering criticism of his team’s post defense throughout the nonconference portion of KU’s 2018-19 season. But the Jayhawks got a recent lesson from one of KU's better post defenders in the Self era that they hope will pay dividends the rest of the way.By Matt Tait

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'You couldn't ask for a better partner': Dineen, Wise feel they're leaving KU in better position than when they arrived

If he hadn’t spent the past five years in the same football program as Joe Dineen, Daniel Wise could have left Kansas as its all-time leader in tackles for loss. Yet it’s just about impossible to envision Wise, the Jayhawks’ perennial standout on the defensive line the past few years, without his sidekick, Dineen, just behind him at linebacker. By Benton Smith

Monday, December 24

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Benton Smith: Try not to view KU basketball through Grinch-colored glasses

Does the Kansas basketball team’s first loss of the season and the Jayhawks’ ensuing drop (exaggerated gasp), all the way down to No. 5 in the latest AP poll have you in full-blown Grinch mode? Well, keep your spirits up. Be merry and jolly. Deck the halls. Tis the season and all of that. By Benton Smith

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Prep D-lineman Da'Jon Terry makes signing with KU official on Christmas Eve

Any Kansas football fans fretting about the status of prep prospect Da’Jon Terry received some welcome news on Christmas Eve. By Benton Smith

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Trust, talent key aspects in depth of relationship between Bill Self and KU point guard Devon Dotson

When Devonte’ Graham walked off the floor at the 2018 Final Four for the last time, Kansas coach Bill Self knew in that moment — even if he wasn’t thinking about it at the time — that he would have to rely on somebody new to handle point guard duties for the Jayhawks during the 2018-19 season. By Matt Tait

Sunday, December 23

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Inability to hit from outside as much to blame as anything for KU's first loss of 2018-19 season

Despite 30 points and 14 rebounds from junior forward Dedric Lawson, the top-ranked Kansas men’s basketball team dropped its first game of the season on Saturday night in the desert, 80-76 to No. 18 Arizona State. And it was more than late-game miscues that cost KU. By Matt Tait

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New KU O-line coach Luke Meadows once again teaming up with OC Chip Lindsey

When Luke Meadows decided to leave his job at Eastern Michigan to become an assistant for the University of Kansas football program, part of the allure was reuniting with offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey, a former colleague. But the Jayhawks’ new offensive line coach was equally intrigued by the idea of working for Les Miles, and not only because of the head coach’s track record at LSU and Oklahoma State. By Benton Smith

Saturday, December 22

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Notebook: ASU coach Bobby Hurley won't forget upset over No. 1 KU

Tempe, Ariz. — Even with all of his big wins as a player at Duke and during the first stretch of his head coaching career, Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley had some serious praise for Saturday’s 80-76 victory over No. 1 Kansas at Wells Fargo Arena, just the second win by an ASU team over No. 1 in school history.

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Benton Smith: Familiar flaws finally cost No. 1 Jayhawks

Welcome to the point in the season when we are supposed to overreact. That’s what we are trained to do when a team on a roll loses for the first time or falters when faced with a new challenge.

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No. 1 Kansas falters in final minutes during 80-76 loss to Arizona State

Tempe, Ariz. — His team led for 37 of the game’s 40 minutes against the No. 18 team on the road, but all Kansas coach Bill Self could talk about after top-ranked KU’s first loss of the season — 80-76 to Arizona State at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday night — was the miscommunication at the end that cost the Jayhawks.

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Quick recap: No. 1 Kansas falls at Arizona State to drop first game of season

For the first time since this season, No. 1 Kansas went down.

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Les Miles and staff extend offers to prospects in 2019 and beyond

While much of the buzz surrounding the Kansas football program this past week focused on the commitments and signings Les Miles and his staff were able to land for the Class of 2019, KU’s coaches also put in some work for the extended future of the program. By Benton Smith

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Game day: No. 1 Kansas basketball at No. 18 Arizona State

A look at some of the keys for top-ranked Kansas in tonight's first true road game of the season at No. 18 Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz. By Matt Tait

Friday, December 21

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Les Miles: KU played 'catch-up' in recruiting once he took over

On the day Les Miles was introduced as the Kansas football program’s next head coach, back on Nov. 18, Miles said hiring coordinators and position coaches would be a key step in the recruiting process, because those new staff members would be able to lay out their plans and deliver their pitches to prospects. That bit of foreshadowing from the former LSU head coach, who inherited a 2019 KU recruiting class with just one player committed, proved true. By Benton Smith

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No. 18 Arizona State aiming for eye-opening win over top-ranked Kansas

It’s been since 1981 and has only happened once in school history. Suffice it to say, beating — or even just playing — the No. 1 ranked college basketball team in the country does not happen all that often around the Arizona State campus. But that’s exactly what the 18th-ranked Sun Devils (8-2) will get an opportunity to do at 8 p.m. Saturday night, when top-ranked and unbeaten Kansas (10-0) comes to town for a Top 20 clash at Wells Fargo Arena. By Matt Tait

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Veteran KU sub Mitch Lightfoot looks for ways to provide 'jolt' regardless of minute load

Trip to ASU bit of homecoming for Lightfoot

KU backup big man Mitch Lightfoot understands his minutes don’t come with any guarantees. And the 6-foot-8 junior often thrives within his role, because he has a “make the most out of it” mindset when checking in off the bench. By Benton Smith

Thursday, December 20

KU women claim title at Duel in the Desert

The University of Kansas women's basketball team topped Northwestern, 66-57, in its second game of the Duel in the Desert Tournament to earn the Desert Division title Thursday night inside Cox Pavilion.

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KU football OC Chip Lindsey will coach Jayhawks' QBs, too

Now that Les Miles knows the identity of all 10 of his on-field assistants for his first season in charge of Kansas football, the program’s new head coach has entrusted a few members of his staff with some additional responsibilities. By Benton Smith

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Bill Self won't be satisfied with KU's defense until Jayhawks make opponents 'feel us'

In the process of improving to 10-0 on the season earlier this week with an 89-53 home victory over South Dakota, the No. 1-ranked Kansas basketball team held its opponent to 37.9 percent shooting from the floor and 23.1 percent success from 3-point range. The Jayhawks swiped a season-high 11 steals, too, and blocked five Coyotes shot attempts. Pretty good defensive effort from KU, right? Not in the eyes of Bill Self. By Benton Smith

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Notebook: Self considers Azubuike 'doubtful' for game at No. 18 Arizona State, but 'who knows?'

Although Kansas basketball coach Bill Self wouldn’t completely rule out the possibility of center Udoka Azubuike returning to the lineup for Saturday’s game at Arizona State, two days ahead of the Jayhawks’ first true road game Self wasn’t counting on the 7-footer’s presence, either. By Benton Smith

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Affidavit: KU football player Pooka Williams allegedly punched a woman in the stomach in domestic battery incident

University of Kansas football player Pooka Williams allegedly punched a woman in the stomach in an incident that led to his arrest on suspicion of domestic battery earlier this month, according to a Douglas County District Court affidavit obtained by the Journal-World on Thursday. By Dylan Lysen

Wednesday, December 19

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Matt Tait: Les Miles' juco signing strategy has different feel than recent experiments

Let the record show that the first official recruiting class in the Les Miles era of Kansas football will include at least six junior college signees. Insert your best eye roll, more-of-the-same statements and belly laughs worthy of Old Saint Nick here. Hasn’t Kansas tried this whole juco thing way too many times before? Yes and no. By Matt Tait

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Hiring of TEs coach Jeff Hecklinski completes Les Miles' KU football staff

A month after being introduced as the new head football coach at the University of Kansas, Les Miles completed his staff Wednesday, announcing the hiring of tight ends coach Jeff Hecklinski. By Benton Smith

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KU freshman David McCormack's uptick in minutes all about proper mindset

For a basketball coach who values attitude and effort over just about everything, what Kansas coach Bill Self saw from freshman forward David McCormack during Tuesday’s 89-53 victory over South Dakota at Allen Fieldhouse was about as good as it gets. By Matt Tait

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Les Miles and KU football open early signing period by adding to 2019 recruiting class

Valerian Agbaw, Malcolm Lee, Torry Locklin among KU signees

Just a few hours into college football’s early signing period on Wednesday morning, the Kansas football program’s 2019 recruiting class grew. New head coach Les Miles and his staff had eight verbal commitments in place entering the day, but added one target they had recruited hard the past several weeks right off the bat. Plus, the Jayhawks signed a quarterback prospect who first committed to former head coach David Beaty and his staff before 2018’s National Signing Day. By Benton Smith

Tuesday, December 18

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Benton Smith: Charlie Moore is sixth-man scorer KU needs

South Dakota basketball coach Todd Lee diligently watched every minute of the Kansas Jayhawks’ first nine games before taking his team to Allen Fieldhouse Tuesday night. It’s safe to say Lee’s scouting report didn’t include anything about denying KU backup point guard Charlie Moore the opportunity to spot up from behind the arc.

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Notebook: KU freshman David McCormack receives extended minutes in win

A funny thing happened on the way to the top-ranked Kansas men’s basketball team finally running past South Dakota, 89-53, on a sloppy and sluggish Tuesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Behind 40 bench points, No. 1 Kansas cruises to 89-53 win over South Dakota

Bench points have been tough to come by for the top-ranked Kansas men’s basketball team so far this season, and never more so than last Saturday, when the Jayhawks’ four reserves scored just 4 points in a win over Villanova. But Tuesday night, during an 89-53 victory over South Dakota at Allen Fieldhouse, the bench points came in bunches and the KU reserves nearly scored as many points as they had in the past four games combined.

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Quick recap: No. 1 Kansas pushes past South Dakota with 89-53 win

Another day, same result. Kansas won another basketball game, even if it wasn’t always the prettiest performance.

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Les Miles keeping David Beaty assistants Tony Hull and Clint Bowen on staff

Two of the most recognizable faces from former Kansas football coach David Beaty’s staff aren’t going anywhere. Both running backs coach Tony Hull and former defensive coordinator Clint Bowen will be retained by new head coach Les Miles, KU announced Tuesday night. By Benton Smith

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3-star juco CB Justin Ford becomes 8th commitment in KU's 2019 class

The Kansas football team’s 2019 recruiting class grew to eight on the eve of college football’s early signing period when Justin Ford, a junior college cornerback from Golden West College (Calif.), announced Tuesday night his plans to sign with the Jayhawks. By Benton Smith

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3-star prep DB Jayden Russell to sign with KU football at mega-ceremony in Mexico City

There are signing ceremonies and then there is what’s in store for Kansas football recruit Jayden Russell. The first prospect to commit to the Jayhawks after head coach Les Miles took over, Russell won’t be the St. Thomas Aquinas gymnasium in Overland Park on Wednesday when he signs his national letter of intent. By Benton Smith

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Former Mizzou D-lineman Caleb Sampson commits to KU football

A college football journey that began for Caleb Sampson in Columbia, Mo., will next bring him to Lawrence. By Benton Smith

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Game day: No. 1 Kansas basketball vs. South Dakota

A look at some of the keys for top-ranked Kansas in tonight's home game against Summit League foe, South Dakota, at Allen Fieldhouse. By Matt Tait

Monday, December 17

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KU football picks up commitment from prep D-lineman Da'Jon Terry

On the same night that the Kansas football program lost a commitment from a Class of 2019 running back it gained one from a defensive lineman. By Benton Smith

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Class of 2019 RB Cole Mueller decommits from KU football

A spot just opened up in the Kansas football program’s relatively small 2019 recruiting class. By Benton Smith

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Benton Smith: Close or not, No. 1 Jayhawks' victories valuable beyond their resume

Now is not the time for apologies. When you coach one of the nine undefeated teams in the country and, oh yeah, your team happens to be ranked No. 1 in the nation in both major polls, it’s hard to feel any remorse about winning a couple of those games in ugly fashion.By Benton Smith

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Undefeated Jayhawks stay at No. 1 in latest AP poll

Despite losing a first-place vote, Kansas remains No. 1 in the latest poll by the Associated Press. Kansas (9-0) defeated Villanova, which fell out the AP Top 25, Saturday afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse in a rematch of last season’s Final four. The 74-71 victory was the lone game for the Jayhawks since moving back to the top spot in college basketball.

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KU's Dedric Lawson named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week

The Big 12’s double-double leader, Dedric Lawson continues to shine in his first first season playing for the University of Kansas, with Monday’s news that he’s once again been named the conference’s newcomer of the week serving as the latest evidence.

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KU remains confident freshman Quentin Grimes will get back on track

Kansas coach Bill Self made sure to give a message to one player in particular. Freshman Quentin Grimes played a season-low 14 minutes during KU’s 74-71 win over Villanova Saturday afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse. It marked the third time in the last four contests that Grimes has logged less than 19 minutes.

Sunday, December 16

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Top-ranked Kansas among college basketball teams with toughest schedules so far

With their three-point victory over No. 17 Villanova on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse, the top-ranked Kansas Jayhawks picked up their third Top 25 win in just nine games so far this season. According to KenPom.com, those victories, along with several other factors, put KU’s strength of schedule as the second best among major Division I programs through Sunday, at No. 6 in the nation, with only Purdue (4th) ranking higher. By Matt Tait

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Reputation as lock-down defender growing by the day for Kansas sophomore Marcus Garrett

The last time Kansas and Villanova met before Saturday, back in March at the Final Four in San Antonio, the Jayhawks had plenty of Villanova players to gear their game plan toward. In the rematch, a 74-71 dog-fight victory by top-ranked Kansas on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse, there was one Villanova player who stood out above all others. And Bill Self put his best defender on him. By Matt Tait

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Juco WRs Ezra Naylor and Andrew Parchment commit to KU football

Les Miles’ first recruiting class at Kansas already had a running back and a quarterback. On Sunday afternoon it gained not one, but two receivers. By Benton Smith

Saturday, December 15

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Notebook: Jayhawks center Udoka Azubuike progressing in rehab

Injured Kansas junior Udoka Azubuike watched his top-ranked teammates knock off No. 17 Villanova, 74-71 at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday morning, the second consecutive outing that a sprained right ankle kept Azubuike on the bench.

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Benton Smith: Dedric Lawson thrives in second game as KU's center

Dedric Lawson, the paint is yours. As inviting as that sounds for an aspiring All-American, you’ll have to forgive this Kansas basketball team’s best all-around player for not diving head first into his new role as the Jayhawks’ pseudo center.

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Lagerald Vick bounces back to help No. 1 KU take down No. 17 Villanova

Kansas senior Lagerald Vick sure found a memorable way to put a bad week behind him. After coming off of the bench and struggling offensively during recent KU victories over Wofford and New Mexico State, Vick was back in the starting lineup and back on the red-hot railway during the top-ranked Jayhawks’ 74-71 win over No. 17 Villanova on Saturday morning at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Quick recap: No. 1 KU knocks off Villanova in rematch of last season's Final Four

No. 1 Kansas avenged last year’s season-ending loss to stay undefeated on the 2018-19 season. The much-anticipated rematch between KU and Villanova came down to the wire Saturday afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks made enough key plays down the stretch to claim a 74-71 victory over the defending national champion.

Friday, December 14

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Game day: No. 1 Kansas basketball vs. No. 17 Villanova

A look at some of the keys for top-ranked Kansas in today's Allen Fieldhouse showdown with No. 17 Villanova in a rematch of last season's Final Four clash in San Antonio. By Matt Tait

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KU-Villanova rematch part personal, part business as usual for both programs

Not long after the Kansas men’s basketball team picked up a survive-by-the-skin-of-your-teeth victory over New Mexico State last Saturday, junior forward Dedric Lawson received a phone call about the Jayhawks’ future. By Matt Tait

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KU struggling to explain why it went into 'stand-down' mode in investigating basketball recruiting allegations

University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod has said KU is officially in “stand-down mode” when it comes to figuring out whether KU basketball coaches acted improperly in the recruiting scandal that is gripping the sport.

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KU D-line coach Kwahn Drake signs on for 4 years, maximum of $1.47M

Special teams coordinator Ekeler signs 3-year, $1M deal

When Kwahn Drake decided to follow defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot from Colorado to Kansas, the Jayhawks’ new defensive line coach signed a four-year term sheet worth a maximum of $1.46 million. By Benton Smith

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Once an LSU grad assistant, Mike Ekeler hired to coach KU football special teams

New Kansas football coach Les Miles sought out another old LSU connection with his latest hire. Miles announced Friday the addition of Mike Ekeler, who will serves as special teams coordinator on the KU football staff. By Benton Smith

Thursday, December 13

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Although it still stung, Kansas coach Bill Self found a pleasant surprise while rewatching KU's Final Four loss to Villanova

Kansas coach Bill Self and Villanova coach Jay Wright have differing thoughts when watching the replay of last year’s Final Four meeting between the two programs in San Antonio. And they might not quite be what you would expect. By Matt Tait

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Villanova coach Jay Wright ready to return to Allen Fieldhouse, but only for this one game

To the dreamy, starry-eyed Kansas basketball fan, Villanova coach Jay Wright’s walk into Allen Fieldhouse for Saturday’s 11 a.m. clash with top-ranked Kansas might inspire visions of Wright someday taking a similar stroll out of the home team’s tunnel onto James Naismith Court. By Matt Tait

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Les Miles hires Kwahn Drake to coach KU's defensive linemen

Drake worked previously with KU's new DC

Kansas football head coach Les Miles took another step toward completing his staff Thursday by hiring Kwahn Drake as the team’s new defensive line coach. By Benton Smith

Wednesday, December 12

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Kansas baseball reveals 2019 schedule

The University of Kansas baseball team is set to compete in 24 games against 2018 NCAA tournament participants this upcoming spring, as the program revealed its 2019 schedule Wednesday afternoon.

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D.J. Eliot signed 3-year, $1.85M term sheet to become KU's defensive coordinator

KU holds options on deal for WRs coach Emmett Jones

When D.J. Eliot decided this week to join Les Miles’ Kansas football staff as the defensive coordinator, Eliot signed a three-year term sheet through the 2021 season worth $1.85 million. By Benton Smith

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Matt Tait: MacVittie commitment KU football's first step to continuity at the QB position

All right, all right, all right. I know what you’re thinking. And I’m here to tell you to stop. Look, I don’t blame you if you roll your eyes and quietly think to yourself, ‘Here we go again,’ every time Kansas lands a commitment from a transfer quarterback. Hey, you might be right. By Matt Tait

Tuesday, December 11

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Les Miles hires former Texas Tech assistant Emmett Jones as KU's WRs coach

The outside receivers coach at pass-happy Texas Tech the previous three seasons, Emmett Jones is joining new Kansas football head coach Les Miles as the Jayhawks’ receivers coach. By Benton Smith

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Juco QB Thomas MacVittie, whose career began at Pitt, commits to KU football

The Kansas football team’s 2019 recruiting class now has a quarterback. Thomas MacVittie, a sophomore at Mesa Community College (Ariz.) whose college football career began in the ACC at Pittsburgh, announced Tuesday afternoon his decision to commit to the Jayhawks, becoming the first QB to do so since Les Miles took over the program. By Benton Smith

Monday, December 10

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KU football DBs coach Chevis Jackson signed 3-year term sheet

The first assistant hired by new head coach Les Miles, Chevis Jackson signed a three-year term sheet with Kansas Athletics to become the football team’s defensive backs coach. By Benton Smith

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LB Joe Dineen becomes KU football's 1st AP All-American since 2007

Although his days of playing for his hometown college football program are over, the honors continue to roll in for University of Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen. By Benton Smith

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KU junior Mitch Lightfoot letting trust in the process dictate his approach

His front-court teammate called him the player of the game and, not five minutes later, his coach said he was merely OK. That was Kansas junior Mitch Lightfoot’s Saturday night during the Jayhawks’ 63-60 squeaker against New Mexico State and few players on this KU roster are better equipped to handle that kind of hot-and-cold critique about the same body of work. By Matt Tait

Sunday, December 9

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Les Miles announces hiring of D.J. Eliot as KU's defensive coordinator

New Kansas football coach Les Miles officially has both of his coordinators in place for his first staff. As reports from the Journal-World and other outlets during the hours leading up to Monday evening’s KU announcement indicated, Miles hired D.J. Eliot, a former defensive coordinator at Colorado and Kentucky, to take on the same position at KU. By Benton Smith

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In-state recruits Jayden Russell and Mason Fairchild commit to Les Miles and KU football

Cole Mueller finally has some company on the Kansas football program’s Class of 2019 commitment list. On a busy Sunday for new head coach Les Miles, KU picked up verbal pledges from two in-state recruits: St. Thomas Aquinas defensive back Jayden Russell and Andale athlete Mason Fairchild. By Benton Smith

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KU coach Bill Self seeking mental freedom, toughness as Jayhawks head into home stretch of nonconference schedule

The Kansas men's basketball team left Sprint Center on Saturday night with a 63-60 victory over New Mexico State and a handful of questions about where the Jayhawks are at, mentally, as they approach mid-December. By Matt Tait

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Sharpshooting Jayhawks race past Grambling State for 76-45 win

The Kansas women’s basketball team improved on a rough shooting night against Nebraska with a 76-45 sharpshooting win over Grambling State Sunday afternoon at home.

Saturday, December 8

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Dedric Lawson takes over late to sneak Kansas past New Mexico State

The play call was simple enough, and it wound up saving Kansas during a 63-60, grind-it-out victory over New Mexico State on Saturday night. After the game, Lawson credited the inbounds play for getting him going, but said “just seeing the ball go through the net” was more important than anything specific about the action. By Matt Tait

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Benton Smith: Lagerald Vick needs to be good kind of 'bad boy' for KU

Kansas City, Mo. — This Kansas basketball team is undefeated. It’s ranked No. 2 in the nation. Yet its head coach, Bill Self, described the current state of the Jayhawks perfectly following Saturday night’s latest near-loss, a 63-60 victory over New Mexico State at Sprint Center.

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Notebook: Jayhawks remain unscathed during gauntlet to start season

Kansas City, Mo. — The gauntlet of good resumes continued Saturday night for the second-ranked Kansas men’s basketball team, which survived a scare from New Mexico State, 63-60, at Sprint Center. The Aggies (7-2) were the sixth KU opponent already this season that ranked in the KenPom Top 100 (at No. 92), with only Vermont (114) and Louisiana (133) sitting outside of double digits in KenPom’s rankings.

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Quick recap: No. 2 Kansas takes down New Mexico State, 63-60

It wasn’t always the prettiest showing, but No. 2 Kansas found a way to survive once again. KU (8-0) struggled for much of its non-conference clash with New Mexico State Saturday night in the Sprint Center. Just like they have done a number of times during the young season, though, the Jayhawks made enough plays down the stretch to claim a 63-60 victory.

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KU football OC Chip Lindsey signs on for 4-year deal worth $2.65 million; KU has option for Year 4

OL coach Luke Meadows' deal guaranteed for first 2 years

The Kansas football team’s new offensive coordinator, Chip Lindsey, signed a four-year term sheet with Kansas Athletics when head coach Les Miles hired Lindsey away from Auburn. Lindsey’s deal is worth $2.65 million dollars over the course of four years, with KU having an option it must exercise in order for the final year of the deal to kick in. By Benton Smith

Friday, December 7

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Game day: No. 2 Kansas basketball vs. New Mexico State

A look at some of the keys for second-ranked Kansas in tonight's Sprint Center showdown with New Mexico State in Kansas City, Mo.By Matt Tait

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Les Miles and KU football targeting prospects ahead of early signing period

As college football’s December early signing period approaches, new University of Kansas head coach Les Miles and his not yet fully assembled staff have targeted some potential additions for the program’s currently minuscule 2019 class. By Benton Smith

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Les Miles hires one-time colleague of new OC to coach KU's O-line

Luke Meadows named Jayhawks' OL coach

New head coach Les Miles now has three of his 10 on-field assistant coaches in place for his first Kansas football staff. Miles announced Friday afternoon he hired Luke Meadows, a former colleague of new KU offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey, as the Jayhawks’ offensive line coach. By Benton Smith

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3 KU football players named to AP's All-Big 12 first team

Three Kansas football players were named first-team All-Big 12 by the Associated Press on Friday, including star running back Pooka Williams, who also was unveiled as the conferee’s newcomer of the year mere hours after news of his Thursday arrest broke. As expected, redshirt seniors Daniel Wise and Joe Dineen were selected for the AP’s first team, too. Williams made the first team at the all-purpose position.

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KU football player Pooka Williams charged with domestic battery, suspended from team

University of Kansas football player Pooka Williams was arrested Thursday on suspicion of domestic battery.

Thursday, December 6

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Jayhawks hoping for Azubuike to be 100 percent by Big 12 opener

One hundred percent by Big 12 play. That’s the general goal for Kansas junior Udoka Azubuike, who will be sidelined “indefinitely” because of an ankle sprain suffered during Tuesday’s win over Wofford.

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Joe Dineen once again a 2nd-team All-American according to SI

For the second year in a row Sports Illustrated named University of Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen to its All-America second team. The redshirt senior defender from Lawrence led the Big 12 in tackles (147) and ranked fourth among all FBS players with 12.3 tackles per game. By Benton Smith

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Freshman David McCormack part of KU's plan to survive life without Dok

At 6-foot-10, 265 pounds, Kansas freshman David McCormack is the closest thing, size-wise, that the Jayhawks have on the roster to replace injured junior Udoka Azubuike, who is expected to be sidelined at least a couple of weeks with a severe ankle sprain. By Matt Tait

Wednesday, December 5

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KU women suffer first loss of season, 58-52, at Nebraska

Nebraska handed the University of Kansas women's basketball team its first loss of the season by a 58-52 margin Wednesday night inside Pinnacle Bank Arena.

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As KU Athletics posts another financial loss, leaders say focus needs to be on increasing revenue, not decreasing expenses

After Kansas Athletics posted a second straight year of financial losses, KU Chancellor Douglas Girod’s office highlighted the need to grow revenue and upgrade athletic facilities.

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KU to employ more four-guard lineups with Udoka Azubuike sidelined

The Lawson brothers have been in this situation before. Dedric Lawson and K.J. Lawson were both on the Memphis team in 2016-17, when starting center Chad Rykhoek was sidelined with a dislocated ankle injury in December. The Tigers turned to their small-ball lineup following the injury, which lasted 16 games between mid-December to mid-February.

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Matt Tait: Biggest job for new Kansas OC Chip Lindsey: Get Pooka the ball

New Kansas offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey will have a number of important roles and duties during his first year with the Jayhawks. But none will be bigger or more important than him finding ways to get the ball to dynamic running back Pooka Williams.By Matt Tait

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List of FBS assistant salaries includes familiar name near the top

USA Today released on Wednesday its annual list of salaries for assistant college football coaches, and a name that’s now familiar with the Kansas football fan base ranked among the top 20 of the highest-paid in the FBS ranks. By Benton Smith

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Report: NCAA won't punish programs caught in Adidas fraud trial until after 2019 Final Four

NCAA sanctions on basketball programs caught up in the Adidas fraud trial won’t be resolved until after the Final Four this spring, NCAA president Mark Emmert said, according to a Yahoo Sports report on Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 4

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Benton Smith: Jayhawks improve perimeter defense to take down Terriers

Over the past few years, Wofford head coach Mike Young has found senior guard Fletcher Magee to be as steady a shooter as they come. The reigning SoCon Player of the Year, Magee has drained 3-pointers and averaged double digits since he arrived in Spartanburg, S.C., in 2015.

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No. 2 Kansas uses 27-0 run in second half to cruise past Wofford

Throughout Kansas freshman Quentin Grimes’ mini-slump to open the season, KU coach Bill Self has maintained that Grimes would be just fine. In fact, earlier this week, Self said he thought his five-star freshman just needed to see the ball go through the basket a couple of times to get going again. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: KU center Udoka Azubuike out indefinitely with ankle sprain

The collective gasp came at the 11:38 mark of the first half of Tuesday’s 72-47 Kansas victory over Wofford at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Quick recap: Second-half surge pushes No. 2 KU past Wofford

No. 2 Kansas overcame another sluggish start to remain unbeaten on the 2018-19 season.

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KU announces Les Miles' hiring of Chip Lindsey as OC

New Kansas football coach Les Miles officially has his offensive coordinator. As reports from the Journal-World and other outlets indicated Monday, former Auburn offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Chip Lindsey was Miles’ choice. KU announced Lindsey’s hiring Tuesday morning. By Benton Smith

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Game day: No. 2 Kansas basketball vs. Wofford

A look at some of the keys for second-ranked Kansas in tonight's home showdown with Wofford at Allen Fieldhouse. By Matt Tait

Monday, December 3

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Former KU football coach Turner Gill retires

Former Kansas football coach Turner Gill announced Monday he is retiring from his position as head coach at Liberty University, effective immediately.

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Despite record donation, KU Athletics loses $5M in 2018; salaries increased 13 percent

Fundraising was up — including a historic $50 million pledge — but Kansas Athletics still posted a more than $5 million loss as department spending again exceeded athletic revenues during the 2018 fiscal year.

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Kansas basketball aiming for improved 3-point defense against hot-shooting Wofford

The struggling Kansas 3-point defense figures to face one of its toughest tests yet when 3-point happy Wofford comes to town Tuesday night for a 7 p.m. showdown with the Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse. By Matt Tait

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Former Auburn OC Chip Lindsey expected to be hired by KU

Ten days after the Kansas football season’s conclusion, a coordinator for new head coach Les Miles’ staff emerged. By Benton Smith

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Dedric Lawson continues to put up numbers for KU

Kansas forward Dedric Lawson has a knack for filling up a stat sheet with ease. Perhaps nothing illustrated this better than a moment during the breakout session with individual players following KU”s 90-84 overtime win over Stanford Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse. A reporter posed a question about Lawson’s ability on the glass following his 15-rebound performance.

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KU football will need to replace half of its 2018 starters in Les Miles' first season

Roughly nine months from now, when Les Miles coaches his first game at Kansas, the football roster won’t be devoid of talent or experience. Even so, it’s impossible to look ahead to Miles’ first season in Lawrence, where he’ll face a far greater challenge than he did at his previous job, in Baton Rouge, La., and not notice the numerous positions where KU will need to find new starters. By Benton Smith

Sunday, December 2

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Les Miles hires former All-SEC CB Chevis Jackson to coach KU's DBs

In his first official move as Kansas football coach, Les Miles didn’t hire an offensive or defensive coordinator. Miles began assembling his staff by hiring a position coach he knows well. By Benton Smith

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Senior guard Lagerald Vick now KU's unquestioned go-to guy

In the aftermath of KU’s 90-84, overtime victory over Stanford on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse, Jayhawk hero Lagerald Vick was asked if he ever thought about passing instead of pulling the trigger on a game-tying 3-pointer with less than 10 seconds to play in regulation. By Matt Tait

Saturday, December 1

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Benton Smith: KU's offense at its best with Dotson driving and dishing

The offense was listless. The fans weren’t into it. And a former Kansas basketball standout-turned head coach, Jerod Haase, had visiting Stanford in perfect position to pull off an upset Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse. Then freshman point guard Devon Dotson decided to do something about it.

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Notebook: Marcus Garrett returns to help Jayhawks avoid upset

After being stuck on the bench in street clothes with concussion-like symptoms during his team’s overtime victory against Tennessee last week in New York, Kansas sophomore Marcus Garrett was more than happy to not have to suffer the same fate during Saturday’s 90-84 overtime win over Stanford at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Behind Lagerald Vick's heroics, No. 2 Kansas takes down Stanford in OT

According to Kansas basketball coach Bill Self, the play that tied the game at the end of regulation of Saturday’s 90-84 overtime victory over Stanford at Allen Fieldhouse was supposed to go through junior forward Dedric Lawson.

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Les Miles makes halftime appearance at Allen Fieldhouse

Before the fans inside of Allen Fieldhouse had much to cheer about during the Kansas basketball team’s Saturday matchup with Stanford, the athletic department got the 16,300 in attendance on their feet by trotting out KU’s new football coach. By Benton Smith

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Quick recap: Vick lifts No. 2 KU past Stanford in overtime

The Year of Lagerald Vick continued Saturday afternoon. The senior guard poured in a team-high 27 points to lead No. 2 Kansas to a 90-84 overtime win over Stanford Saturday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse. Vick drilled a game-tying triple in the closing seconds to force overtime.