On a wildly entertaining display of fast-break basketball Thursday night at Sprint Center, Kansas showed why it has the best backcourt in America, Frank Mason III buried any debate as to the most deserving candidate for national player-of-the-year honors, and Devonte’ Graham established himself as one of the favorites to win them next year. By Tom Keegan
The buildup for this Sweet 16 game that pits Purdue against Kansas has the feel of a college football bowl week, all the talk centering on the big bodies of the Big Ten clashing with the sleek speed of the Big 12, tanks vs. sports cars. By Tom Keegan
The NCAA tournament has a way of bringing on flashbacks of regular-season moments that stood out as different, went back under the radar, and resurface in March to enable a team to survive and advance. By Tom Keegan
Only one double-digit seed (Xavier) survived the first week of the NCAA tournament, but that doesn’t mean surprising developments didn’t surface.
When Kansas guard Frank Mason and Michigan State forward Miles Bridges stood chest-to-chest exchanging boxer’s glares early in the game, nobody in attendance would dispute program listings that showed Bridges with an 8-inch, 40-pound advantage. By Tom Keegan
Now that the recruiting battle that Michigan State coach Tom Izzo lost to Bill Self of Kansas for the pleasure of coaching Josh Jackson for his one year has faded from view in the rear-view mirror, Izzo felt comfortable Saturday afternoon revealing his failed strategy.
Veteran leadership is so important in March, yet so seldom explained as well as Josh Jackson captured it Thursday afternoon from a seat at his locker.
So far, Jackson’s free-throw shooting has equated to Cindy Crawford’s mole, but he’s not far from solving the problem, according to Townsend, who has had a hand in Jackson’s vastly improved 3-point shooting.
Josh Jackson arrived at Kansas amid inevitable comparisons to Andrew Wiggins. Their similar size (6-foot-8), ranking (No. 1 by Rivals) and excuse-me-while-I-kiss-the-sky dunking histories made it impossible not to compare them, not to wonder which would leave a louder one-year mark on Kansas basketball.
A week before Selection Sunday, I selected 13 teams I think have a shot to win it all.
The Kansas quarterfinal exit from the Big 12 basketball tournament Thursday underscored the importance of freshman Josh Jackson staying out of foul trouble and parking lots. By Tom Keegan
Bill Self’s coaching tree never has looked more lush than it will on Selection Sunday.
It’s worth wondering if NBA scouts watching the college basketball game played at an NBA pace Saturday in Gallagher-Iba Arena left the building believing the same thing I did: Picking anybody but Kansas freshman Josh Jackson with the first selection is simply too risky a proposition to undertake because it could make whichever team passed on him look really, really bad in time.
To win this one, Kansas needed more than senior Frank Mason III effectively locking up national player-of-the-year honors and Josh Jackson again showing just how much a freshman so driven and talented can improve in every area of his game over the course of a season. This one wasn’t going to be won without a serious contribution from KU’s once-maligned bench. By Tom Keegan
It’s not as if it hasn’t entered Kansas basketball coach Bill Self’s mind to start Lagerald Vick and bring Svi Mykhailiuk off the bench, but he likes what Vick’s doing for the team in his current role too much to pull the trigger on that switch.