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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Notebook: Former KU players honored as part of 120-year celebration

Players from the Ted Owens years applaud as their coach is honored during a halftime ceremony in recognition of 120 years of Kansas basketball.

Players from the Ted Owens years applaud as their coach is honored during a halftime ceremony in recognition of 120 years of Kansas basketball.

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One by one, they marched onto the Allen Fieldhouse floor, just as they had done all those years ago.

Players, assistant coaches, managers and staff members who competed for six of the eight head coaches in the 120-year history of Kansas basketball walked together for a halftime ceremony during Saturday's 84-79 loss to Oklahoma State.

Although the loss by this year's team was not what anyone on the floor expected — and certainly not anything most of them were used to experiencing during their days as players — the outcome did little to overpower the outpouring of love for dozens of players who once were fan favorites in one way or another.

As the nearly 200 former Jayhawks were recognized, fans stood and cheered from the stands. Saturday was not the day for a bathroom break and a quick snack at the break. Instead, it was a time to watch so many of their favorites from the past smile and wave to the crowd one more time during a celebration that now takes place every five years.

Members of all three NCAA national championship teams were on hand — Bill Lienhard and Bill Heitholt from Phog Allen's 1952 team; Scooter Barry, Jeff Gueldner, Marvin Mattox and Larry Brown from the 1988 squad; and Tyrel Reed, Matt Kleinmann and Conner Teahan from current coach Bill Self's 2008 champions.

“The reunion was great,” Self said. “Hopefully, for the guys who came back, (the loss) won't take away from them enjoying their teammates and stuff, but obviously it takes away from the (game).”

Added KU senior Devonte' Graham, when asked if it stung more to lose in front of those guys: “You had guys from 60 years ago come back and see us play and get honored, so you want to win and play for those guys because they built this. Everything we've got, we're living because of them.”

Svi for 1,000

Kansas senior Svi Mykhailiuk, with his 17 points on Saturday, became the 60th player in KU history to crack the 1,000-point club. Mykhailiuk now has scored 1,003 points and is 43 points away from cracking KU's all-time top 50.

The bucket that actually did it came at the 11:57 mark of the second half when Mykhailiuk, appropriately, buried a 3-pointer to pull KU within nine.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Self after loss to Oklahoma State: 'We got what we deserved'

After an 84-79 home loss to Oklahoma State, Kansas coach Bill Self discussed his team's problems with defensive rebounding, why he thought the Jayhawks played slow and KU's small margin of error in conference play.

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The Ukraine native becomes the 15th player in the Self era to reach 1,000 points, and he now sits in seventh place on KU's all-time 3-point list, three ahead of Terry Brown and two behind Brandon Rush for sixth.

Graham, meanwhile, who knocked in a 3-pointer for the 23rd consecutive game — the fifth longest such streak in school history — is currently in third place with 253 career triples, 16 behind Billy Thomas for second.

Free-throw focus

After a couple of weeks of talk about his poor percentage and extra effort toward improving, sophomore center Udoka Azubuike shocked the world on Saturday by hitting four free throws in a row to open the game.

Azubuike missed his next three to finish the game 4 of 7 at the stripe. But for a player who entered the game shooting .377 for the season, knocking in 57 percent in a single game certainly qualifies as improvement.

“He doing a great job and he's been practicing them a lot, so he's getting better slowly and slowly,” Graham said of Azubuike. “He definitely looked confident when he made those first couple and it gets him going and energetic and stuff like that.”

This and that ...

KU's loss to Oklahoma State dropped KU to 10-3 at Allen Fieldhouse this season, marking the first time since the 1998-99 season that KU has suffered three losses in its home venue in the same season ... Self is now 230-13 all-time in Allen Fieldhouse ... The loss to OSU dropped the Jayhawks to 7-3 in Big 12 play for the first time since 2015-16 and the fourth time in the Self era, and also pulled Kansas into a first-place tie atop the Big 12 standings with Texas Tech ... KU now leads the series with the Cowboys, 113-58.


More news and notes from Kansas vs. Oklahoma State


By the Numbers: Oklahoma State 84, Kansas 79.

By the Numbers: Oklahoma State 84, Kansas 79.

Comments

Brad Avery 6 months, 1 week ago

I am not sure of who all was there for the reunion appearance, but I wonder if we could enlist some of the old guys to teach the youngsters the concept of blocking out? It is a difficult, complex part of basketball, making sure your opponent does not rebound a missed shot for an easy putback, and it seems to be part of the game that has been lost in the annals of basketball time. No one on the current staff seems able to teach it.

Brad Watson 6 months, 1 week ago

I would love to see a list of names of the nearly 200 who returned...if available...Thanks!

Bryce Landon 6 months, 1 week ago

To all the old-timers who came back yesterday, I'm sorry you had to be subjected to such a piss-poor display of pulse, effort, emotion, or intensity from the motley crew that passed itself off as a Kansas basketball team.

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