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Benton Smith

KUsports.com reporter

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Benton Smith was born in Kansas City, Mo., and bounced around in the years that followed, living in Pennsylvania, Iowa and North Carolina, before moving to Lawrence in 2006. Along the way, he lived in Sanford, N.C., for a huge chunk of his life and graduated in 2002 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — an institution, he assures die-hard Kansas fans, which he attended primarily for its in-state tuition and journalism program. Shortly after moving to Lawrence, Smith began working part-time at the Journal-World, initially covering youth sports. Next, he covered Free State High athletics and area sports for the J-W, before taking on the position of sports editor for one of The World Company's weekly newspapers, The Mirror, in Tonganoxie. He worked there from 2008 to 2011, until returning to the Journal-World to lead its high school sports coverage. In 2013, Smith took on a new role with KUsports.com, as a digital editor, blogger and writer and that role changed again in 2016, when Smith was promoted to KU football beat writer.

Recent Stories

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As NBA trends smaller, former KU center Jeff Withey remains optimistic entering free agency

Watch an NBA game these days and, especially in crunch time, you will see more teams than ever leaving their traditional 7-foot centers on the bench, favoring a small lineup instead. The league is trending toward a pace-and-space, perimeter-oriented game with as many shooters and creators as possible. So where does that leave a good, old-fashioned rim protector, such as Jeff Withey, the all-time leading shot-blocker (311) at the University of Kansas? By Benton Smith

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Hungry for more: KU's Khalil Herbert unsatisfied with freshman-year production

RB aims to make bigger impact in 2017

For all University of Kansas running back Khalil Herbert accomplished in his first season with the program last fall, it didn’t come close to leaving him satisfied. By Benton Smith

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KU football adds depth to O-line with former juco guard

The University of Kansas offensive line picked up an unexpected addition this summer, with guard Andru Tovi, formerly of Pima Community College (Ariz.), joining the program. By Benton Smith

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Freshman Billy Preston learns quickly to assert himself on court for KU

A McDonald’s All-American from prep powerhouse Oak Hill Academy (Va.), and a top-10 player in the Class of 2017, Billy Preston didn’t stand out much in his first scrimmage at the University of Kansas. Preston realized shortly thereafter his jitters got the best of him and resolved not to play like that again. KU’s latest touted freshman made the most of a second chance Wednesday afternoon. By Benton Smith

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Elijah Johnson sees big season ahead for Devonté Graham and Malik Newman

Over the past couple of weeks, with basketball’s offseason allotting him time to return to the University of Kansas campus where he spent four years, former Jayhawks guard Elijah Johnson has seen a lot of KU’s newest backcourt combination. It’s been enough for Johnson to envision senior Devonte’ Graham and sophomore Malik Newman collaborating to form a dynamic perimeter attack, typical of head coach Bill Self’s teams. By Benton Smith

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New KU point guard Charlie Moore thinks he can make U19 USA Basketball roster

A couple weeks after moving to Lawrence to join the University of Kansas basketball program, Cal transfer Charlie Moore has to pack some of his belongings right back up, so he can try out for USA Basketball’s Men’s U19 World Cup Team. By Benton Smith

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KU's 2018 recruiting class bulks up with three D-line commitments

On a big recruiting weekend for the Kansas football program, third-year head coach David Beaty and his staff saw three hefty additions to their 2018 class. Thrice Sunday afternoon Beaty tweeted out his signature “neat deal” hashtag, signaling commitments from a trio of defensive linemen. By Benton Smith

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Transfer Sam Cunliffe finally comfortable at Kansas

Five months back, when he first arrived at the University of Kansas as a transfer from Arizona State, Sam Cunliffe didn’t know for certain how long it would be before he would start to feel at home in Lawrence. By Benton Smith

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Sherron Collins finds better use for old game-worn KU jersey

In town this week to play in Thursday night’s Rock Chalk Roundball Classic at Free State High, Collins had in his car one of his old Kansas jerseys, which he planned to deposit in his trove. But when he heard KU play-by-play announcer Brian Hanni, organizer of the annual fundraiser for Kansas families battling cancer, auctioning off items at halftime of the event, Collins got another idea. By Benton Smith

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Three-star DE Miles Emery commits to KU football

Back in February, the University of Kansas football staff became the first to offer Blue Valley North defensive lineman Miles Emery a spot among the college ranks. Since then offers came from Oklahoma, Louisville and other programs, but on Tuesday morning Emery decided to stick with David Beaty and company. By Benton Smith

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