Such brutal blocks of a schedule have been known to expose freshmen as less-than-ready for the prime-time. Not just any freshman, Josh Jackson has exploded with his most productive run, which figures. His emergence as a consistent big-time scorer coincides precisely with the uptick in the difficulty of the schedule. The more his team needs him, the better he tends to play.
Josh Jackson arrived at Kansas with a sophisticated basketball mind and perpetually revved motor, but in the months of November and December he flashed teenager moments. By Tom Keegan
Early in David Beaty’s tenure as head football coach at Kansas, athletic director Sheahon Zenger mentioned in passing but with confidence that it had been his experience that it takes until a coach’s third year on the job for him to get his staff just right.
Kansas, of all places, is fast becoming a popular destination for college football prospects from the state of Louisiana.
The play called for the ball to go to Josh Jackson in the post and it did, where two defenders quickly crowded him. Thinking and acting quickly, as is his way, Jackson whistled the ball to Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk for a wide-open 3 that he hit late to help Kansas score a 74-71 victory over Kansas State in a battle played in front of 12,528 rowdy witnesses. “Biggest shot of the game,” Kansas coach Bill Self said of the Svi 3 that broke a tie with 2:34 left. Kansas led the rest of the way. By Tom Keegan
This is how easier-than-most-to-shake upsets happen in basketball: A talented player who doesn’t care how many shots in a row he has missed keeps firing without ever looking back, without ever fearing consequences in the event the shots keep clanking off the rim. By Tom Keegan
What if another suspension comes? What if another player suffers an injury? Fewer blowouts have resulted in fewer minutes for walk-ons. Even so, based on limited evidence, it doesn’t seem to be as talented a group as in many years.
Back-to-back games against top-five teams, one in enemy territory with more than 24,000 rooting against him, the other in the building that supplies college basketball’s most outrageous home-court advantage. Time for Josh Jackson to show the nation how much he loves to play basketball, how much he loves to win. By Tom Keegan
These aren’t your older brother’s Baylor Bears. You remember them. Long, tall, sometimes spectacular big men who at other times passively sat back in a passive 2-3 zone as Kansas picked them apart.
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self’s decision to change defenses did more than help Landen Lucas deal with foul trouble, slow down speedy Kentucky and make Bam Adebayo work in a crowded place. It gave the talented, young Kentucky guards something to process and sometimes the harder the mind has to work the slower the body moves.
World-famous ring announcer Michael Buffer found the stage so big he even tweaked his trademarked slogan and said, “Let’s get ready for roundbaaaaaaall!” And 24,418 basketball-crazed spectators, most anticipating a slaughter that would send them home from Rupp Arena in a euphoric state, let out a roar. By Tom Keegan
A case could be made that John Calipari, who in 2012 ended Kentucky’s 13-year national-title drought, ranks as the No. 2 celebrity who resides in this area of the commonwealth of Kentucky. American Pharaoh, a Triple Crown winner that ended a 36-year drought, resides in an adjacent county at Ashford Stud farm.
Carlton Bragg’s suspension, announced Thursday night, is indefinite. If that morphs into permanent, well, that doesn’t necessarily make Kansas a worse basketball team. Eight healthy scholarship players going in the same direction beats eight going one way, a ninth going nowhere.
West Virginia’s unencumbered procession to the hoop for easy buckets in Tuesday’s 85-69 bullying of Kansas at packed WVU Coliseum might have had a little to do with the same players’ procession to the treadmill in the wake of consecutive losses to Oklahoma and Kansas State. By Tom Keegan
The Kansas basketball team begins an eight-game stretch of games Tuesday night so brutal that the easiest of the lot comes against Iowa State, which has a winning record in Big 12 play.