Benton Smith 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, 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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Bill Self: KU in 'good place' with Silvio De Sousa's eligibility

It’s been more than two months since a federal indictment alleged the guardians of two unnamed University of Kansas basketball players — widely believed to be current KU big man Silvio De Sousa and former forward Billy Preston — received illegal payments in a scandal orchestrated by an Adidas executive. But nothing that has transpired since leads head coach Bill Self to think De Sousa will be ineligible to play as a sophomore this coming season. By Benton Smith

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Early talk with Bill Self at FIBA Americas fueled Quentin Grimes’ run to MVP

New to representing USA on an international stage, University of Kansas freshman Quentin Grimes took some time to feel out his surroundings this past week at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship. Although Grimes entered the event in a unique position, playing for his college coach, Bill Self, the 6-foot-4 guard didn’t interpret his situation as a green light to assume a starring role on a roster full of talent. By Benton Smith

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Former KU guard Elijah Johnson taking his new 'Too Strong Tour' across Kansas

When Elijah Johnson began contemplating his summer plans while playing in Israel this past season for Galil Gilboa, the former University of Kansas guard thought he wanted to include some form of a youth basketball camp in his off-season calendar. Johnson also recognized if he were to add one such experience to his agenda, upon returning to the area where he played college basketball, he wanted to give it an uncommon spin. By Benton Smith

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KU's Bill Self, Quentin Grimes help USA U18 win gold at FIBA Americas

Jayhawks' Grimes named MVP

USA Basketball defied a quick start from host team Canada well enough Saturday night in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship gold medal game. But when coach Bill Self needed his group of U.S. players to totally take control, University of Kansas freshman guard Quentin Grimes did his part to make it happen in the second quarter. By Benton Smith

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Quentin Grimes scores 26 as USA defeats Argentina in FIBA Americas semifinal

USA Basketball’s U18 team faced its toughest competition to date at the FIBA Americas Championship Friday evening, but with University of Kansas freshman Quentin Grimes leading the way, head coach Bill Self’s group of U.S. players knocked off Argentina, 104-92, in the tournament semifinals. By Benton Smith

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Devonte' Graham confident in his shot headed into final 2 pre-draft workouts

Between bouncing from airports to gymnasiums and back again, all in the name of proving himself worthy of some NBA team’s draft pick, Devonte’ Graham’s travels over the past several weeks occasionally have brought him back to Lawrence, where he made a name for himself on the college basketball landscape as a point guard at the University of Kansas. It was during one such brief swing through KU’s campus that Graham really felt like a former college player and a college graduate. By Benton Smith

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USA stays unbeaten at FIBA Americas U18 Championship, reaches semifinals

It wasn’t quite on par with the complete demolition job USA Basketball pulled off to flatten Panama earlier in the week, but the US opened tournament play at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship Thursday night in similarly devastating fashion. By Benton Smith

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Amid NBA Draft preparation, Devonte' Graham returns to Lawrence for Rock Chalk Roundball Classic

With one of the biggest days in his basketball existence coming up next week, no one would have blamed Devonte’ Graham if the aspiring NBA point guard had spent this week focusing on his future. However, when asked to participate in the 10th annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic, a charity fundraiser for families with children who are battling cancer, the recent University of Kansas graduate and busy pro prospect saw no reason to decline. By Benton Smith

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Notebook: KU's next starting point guard following footsteps of greats

After back-to-back years of playing an All-American at point guard, the position will look distinctly different this coming season at the University of Kansas. No Frank Mason III. No Devonte’ Graham. No upperclassman in waiting. By Benton Smith

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Charlie Moore, current Jayhawks roll at KU camp scrimmage

Over the course of the past several years, Wayne Selden has played in enough Kansas basketball summer camp scrimmages that they all basically blend together in his mind. The former KU guard, now with the Memphis Grizzlies, finally experienced one that took on a different feel Wednesday afternoon inside Horejsi Family Athletics Center. By Benton Smith

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