Monday, January 29, 2018

Jayhawks well aware of hostile environment that awaits in Manhattan

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) puts up a three before Kansas State forward Wesley Iwundu (25) during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) puts up a three before Kansas State forward Wesley Iwundu (25) during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan.


The Kansas upperclassmen know exactly what awaits them tonight in hostile Bramlage Coliseum.

Devonte' Graham, Svi Mykhailiuk and Lagerald Vick have seen it first hand and have emerged victorious during their last two trips to Kansas State's home arena, where the Jayahwks and Wildcats will do battle at 8 p.m. tonight on ESPN's Big Monday.

But neither of those victories came easy. And both followed a two-game KU losing streak in Manhattan that featured games that were equally as tough as those the Jayhawks have experienced during the past two seasons.

The Kansas State crowd, in all of its Sandstorm-rocking, purple-wearing, sometimes-swearing glory, has made sure that the KU-KSU game in Manhattan is one of the most energetic and intense games on the Big 12 schedule each year. And Graham, Mykhailiuk, Vick and KU coach Bill Self are expecting more of the same tonight.

“I would anticipate the same thing that we anticipate every time we go to Manhattan,” said Self, looking ahead to Part 2 of the 2017-18 Sunflower Showdown. “It'll be the best environment that we'll play in from a competitive standpoint. I mean, we won't go to a place that will rival the energy that they have for us anywhere else. We've played in front of some great home courts, but there's a little venom and hatred in this one. And they've got a lot to play for and they're playing great, so I think it'll be the toughest atmosphere we've played in this year.”

Mykhailiuk agreed, and said the key for Kansas to make it three wins in a row instead of seeing his record against K-State on the road even up at 2-2, was to eliminate distractions as much as possible the way the Jayhawks (17-4 overall, 6-2 Big 12) did when they snapped a four-game losing streak at West Virginia earlier this season.

“It's the same as every road game,” Mykhailiuk said. “Every team has good fans, so we just stay tight, huddle and just focus on the small details and listen to whatever coach says.”

Asked to compare the atmosphere inside Bramlage to what the Jayhawks play in at Allen Fieldhouse, Mykhailiuk was surprisingly complimentary of the K-State venue, even if it was built more than 30 years after KU's historic home court.

“I would say it would be the same, from their standpoint,” Mykhailiuk said when asked how K-Staters felt about Bramlage. “They have really good fans and it's always tough to win there. But we like to play in tough places against tough teams. We like to show people that we can play with anybody.”

Unlike Graham and Mykhailiuk, who lost at KSU in overtime as freshmen, Vick has never lost at K-State, but understands clearly that what the Jayhawks are walking into will not be easy.

“It's going to be a tough game,” Vick said. “You know, a rivalry, good atmosphere. We're just looking to go up there and get a win and stay in first in the Big 12.”

And then there's sophomore Malik Newman, who will be playing at Bramlage for the first time in his career. Sure, Newman was there last year to watch Frank Mason III and Josh Jackson fight off the Wildcats. But Newman was not in uniform and could not play in the game.

Tonight, he will be. And he knows, based off of that first game — a 73-72 KU victory at Allen Fieldhouse earlier this month — that the Jayhawks will have their hands full.

“It was a nail-biter, so I credit those guys,” Newman said. “I know that they're a good team. We haven't had them in our marking scope, but we knew that they were coming up so we kind of have been watching them. I know that they've been playing good. I mean, it's a rivalry game. Even if it was a 15 or 20-point loss (last time), they'd still be waiting for us.”


Bryce Landon 1 year, 9 months ago

Bramlage Coliseum = Allen Fieldhouse West.

KSU has only beaten us in their home gym four times since the arena opened for the 1988-89 season. We're 25-4 against them in Bramlage. It would take nearly a full generation for them to draw even with us. Add on the fact that we beat them in the last five games in Ahearn Fieldhouse, and we are 30-4 against them in Manhattan since Ted Owens was replaced by Larry Brown.

Andy Godwin 1 year, 9 months ago

Hope history is on the Jayhawks side tonight, but KSU is probably playing their best basketball of the season. They have depth in the front court to pound on Udoka and get him in foul trouble. Their freshman guard gave KU fits in the second half of the game in Lawrence and KU matches up poorly with Dean Wade who could be selected as a first teamer in the Big 12 if he keeps up his pace. Will come down to if KU can consistently hit their 3's and Udoka stays out of foul trouble. Go, fit, win.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 9 months ago

The Octagon of Dumb. [maybe one out of three K-Staters could actually draw an octagon!] The Kittie Litter Box. The Lose-A-Gon of Woe. The Rectangle Which Forgot Four Corners. Wasteland Arena. The Purple Pussycat Parade Grounds. The Big Ugly. Ground Zero in Losersville. K-State Is KU's B###H Arena. Plus a bunch of names I can't throw out into social media.

KU 78 - KSU 71.

Chandler Accipiter 1 year, 9 months ago

Come on Oak, tell us how you really feel from an architectural standpoint! Couldn't you at least compliment those nice wide aisles?

Barry Weiss 1 year, 9 months ago

Those fans really do hate us. Hey, we let them stomp us in football every year, I think its only fair we should get the basketball wins.

Craig Carson 1 year, 9 months ago

that FB stomping will probably end once Snyder leaves..KSU was as bad before him as we are, you wouldnt think KU FB can stay THIS bad....can it????? LOL

Robert Brock 1 year, 9 months ago

The Hawks have to play better than they did in Lawrence or it will be a big L. Unfortunately, Graham looks completely worn out.

Craig Carson 1 year, 9 months ago

I think lack of PG depth is as bad as front court depth..Last year Mason had Graham, this year Graham has noone..Newman played PG at MSU but wasnt very effective

Justin Kruse 1 year, 9 months ago

Gonna be fun! Use the energy of that crowd and shut 'em up!

I seriously had dreams of Udoka shooting and making free throws last night! I think he's going off for 30 tonight.

Rock Chalk!

Harlan Hobbs 1 year, 9 months ago

The key, as it most always is on the road, is to play solid defense and to stay focused. My guess is that Coach Self may have a few defensive tricks up his sleeve to help neutralize Dean Wade, who is outstanding, and the other guys who hurt us in Lawrence.

I agree with you, Andy, Dean Wade could be a first team All Conference. However, my estimate is that he will be on the second team, unless K-State wins the conference, which is certainly possible. If they do, it will be the first time that they have ever finished ahead of KU since the Big 12 came into existence, unless KU ties them as happened a few years ago (in 2009, I believe).

Bryce Landon 1 year, 9 months ago

KSU tied with KU for first in the Big 12 in 2012-13, not in 2009. In 2009 we won the league all to ourselves.

Craig Carson 1 year, 9 months ago

History is on KU's side but KSU will have tons of they are actually doin better this year than they were suppose to..I sure wish Wade had went to KU, we sure could use a versatile big like him this year

Brad Watson 1 year, 9 months ago

The State of Kansas has passionate basketball fans...Wichita State...Kansas State.....tough places to go play.....this K-State team has chemistry....this Larry Brown kid is for real...and their fans want it will take everything we have to win tonight...that said...I think we will....Coach always has our team ready....I predict that it will be our bench players that will be the difference tonight...I am not sure who...but someone coming the pine... will be the difference...lots of possible candidates..GO KU!!!!!!!!

Len Shaffer 1 year, 9 months ago

I think you're right, Brad. Tonight will be De Sousa's breakout game.

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