Advertisement

Staff

Back to profile

Benton Smith

Stories by Benton

Tease photo

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

Tease photo

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

Tease photo

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

Tease photo

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

Tease photo

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

Tease photo

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

Tease photo

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

Tease photo

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

Tease photo

KU freshman Quentin Grimes' 20 points help USA improve to 3-0

University of Kansas freshman Quentin Grimes supplied his most productive outing to date at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship Tuesday night, helping USA Basketball seal up first place in Group A, with a victory over Puerto Rico. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

Former Kansas WR Chase Harrell to transfer to Arkansas

Former University of Kansas receiver Chase Harrell has left the Big 12 for the SEC. Two months after making public his decision to leave KU, Harrell announced Tuesday his plans to enroll and play football at Arkansas. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

Notebook: Udoka Azubuike still not a shooter, but working on his free throws

Sure, Udoka Azubuike spent most of May hearing from NBA evaluators about his draft stock and potential as a player at the next level. That doesn’t mean the big man returned to the University of Kansas with the notion of adding a 3-pointer to his repertoire, to replicate the skillsets of many professional centers. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

USA trounces Panama, 118-26, at FIBA Americas U18 Championship

Appropriate for a game live-streamed on YouTube, USA Basketball’s U18 team produced what amounted to a 40-minute highlight mixtape Monday night at the FIBA Americas championship. By Benton Smith<

Tease photo

KU freshman PG Devon Dotson 'a jet' in the open floor

In the wake of the en masse departure of four starting guards who helped the Jayhawks reach the Final Four this past March, the Kansas backcourt looked rather thin the first week of June, when players arrived on campus for summer classes and workouts. The backcourt took on a more formidable air, though, once freshman point guard Devon Dotson arrived in Lawrence this past Thursday. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

USA rolls at FIBA Americas in Bill Self's debut as U18 head coach

Jayhawk Quentin Grimes scores 8

Bill Self didn’t face many snags during his debut as head coach of USA Basketball’s U18 team Sunday night at the FIBA Americas championship. Nevertheless, after the US rolled past Dominican Republic, 105-73, in its preliminary-round opener, in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, the University of Kansas head coach sounded as demanding in June as he would in the heat of Big 12 play in January or February. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

After receiving NBA feedback, Udoka Azubuike aims to get in 'way better shape'

Udoka Azubuike shouldn’t have to completely re-invent himself during his junior season at the University of Kansas to cement his NBA stock. In fact, according to the 7-foot center from Nigeria, some teams he spoke with in May while weighing his future said he had a chance to become a late first-round pick this June if he decided to stay in the 2018 draft. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

Summer workouts underway for KU football

Actual practices won’t begin until early August, but a crucial stretch of preparation leading up to preseason camp began this week for University of Kansas football players. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

Un-hyped Jayhawks don't mind entering season without buzz

The summer of 2017 was one of hope for Kansas football. A year later, at least for those not personally invested in the successes and failures of the team, a similar sense of interest in KU football likely doesn’t reverberate much outside of the Lawrence city limits. That’s just fine with David Beaty. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

Former LHS standout Justin Roberts transferring to Niagara

Amid conference play during his second season as a backup point guard at Toledo, former Lawrence High standout Justin Roberts began to determine he wanted to try something new. A few months later, Roberts solidified his plans to transfer from the MAC program and complete his college career elsewhere. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

Class of 2019 Free State teammates Keenan Garber, Jax Dineen weighing options

Broad-shouldered offensive tackle Turner Corcoran isn’t the only member of Free State High’s football team picking up interest from a number of college programs. Offers for rising seniors Keenan Garber and Jax Dineen also began piling up this past spring. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

4-star Class of 2020 OT Turner Corcoran's long list of options includes KU

A 6-foot-6 Free State High offensive lineman, Turner Corcoran’s college recruitment exploded over the past couple of months, as he began receiving scholarship offers from such celebrated programs as Notre Dame, Nebraska, Michigan and Clemson, making his future a popular topic. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

Special Olympics Kansas inducting Lawrence's Brady Tanner into its hall of fame

Regardless of what Brady Tanner’s Friday entailed or where it took him he would be smiling. Tanner’s grin just might stretch a little wider tonight, when the Special Olympics inducts the Lawrence athlete into its Kansas hall of fame. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

Nonconference, season-finale kickoff times announced for KU football's 2018 schedule

Four kickoff times on the Kansas football team’s 2018 schedule are set, with the Big 12 revealing on Thursday television broadcast assignments for early-season matchups, as well as special dates for the coming fall. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

Notebook: KU veteran receivers show progress

Hasan Defense spent the spring lining up against University of Kansas receivers, fixated on stopping them from making catches. Through those countless repetitions, as well as video reviews of practices, the junior cornerback learned a great deal about the Jayhawks’ receiving unit. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

Former Ohio State OT to join KU as grad transfer

Just a few years ago, Kevin Feder was a four-star prep offensive lineman with enough potential to sign with national powerhouse Ohio State. Now he's oh his way to Kansas. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

KU defensive standouts Daniel Wise, Joe Dineen make pre-season all-league list

Though they play for a team often overlooked on the national landscape, Kansas football redshirt seniors Daniel Wise and Joe Dineen won’t go unnoticed in their final year with the Jayhawks. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

David Beaty reacts to firing of Sheahon Zenger

The man who hired David Beaty to coach the University of Kansas football program lost his job Monday.

Tease photo

Notebook: KU football's leaders aim to change program's culture

Realistically, it would be difficult for any of KU football's leaders of today to come close to reproducing the success of the program’s all-time greats. So how do the Jayhawks go about getting back to the point where they’re playing in and winning big games? By Benton Smith

Tease photo

WR Bobby Hartzog Jr. transferring from KU as graduate

Receiver Bobby Hartzog Jr. won’t be a part of the University of Kansas football program this coming fall.

Tease photo

'He's a big boy now': Kansas LB Kyron Johnson preparing for larger role

The official KU roster lists linebacker Kyron Johnson at 220 pounds, up 10 from his weight as an early high school graduate and spring enrollee, in 2017. But linebacker Joe Dineen thinks Johnson looks and plays as if he’s added 20 to 25 pounds since joining the program a little more than a year ago. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

New appreciation for video study turning KU's Hasan Defense into better CB

During his first season competing at the Big 12 level, Hasan Defense didn’t master the art of cornerback. As the self-assured, 5-foot-11 corner prepares for his upcoming junior year, though, Defense feels optimistic he can free himself of the blown coverages, penalties and other errors that spoiled his debut fall with the Jayhawks. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

'Finally': KU linebacker Joe Dineen amped for redshirt senior season

When Joe Dineen thinks about this stage of his college football career, and how close he is to launching into his senior season, one word springs from his mind and out of his mouth. “Finally.” By Benton Smith

Tease photo

Notebook: Miles Kendrick learning QBs must 'run the show'

Miles Kendrick first met the man who will mold him into whatever type of quarterback he becomes for the University of Kansas football program late this past year. By Benton Smith

KU tennis beats Denver, 4-3, for program's first NCAA Tournament win in 19 years

The Kansas tennis team needed one more victory to advance past the NCAA Tournament’s opening round for the first time in 19 years, and sophomore Maria Toran Ribes delivered it Friday at Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center, in Malibu, Calif.

Tease photo

Notebook: Dorance Armstrong reportedly signs 4-year deal with Cowboys

Former Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. didn’t waste any time making his partnership with the team that drafted him official. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

Juco CB originally from Louisiana plans to join KU football

A Kansas football secondary already counting on contributions from newcomers this coming fall could have another addition in the mix.

Tease photo

Notebook: Mike Lee trusting of KU secondary's newcomers

When Mike Lee lined up in the secondary during practices or sat down for a meeting with his fellow defensive backs this spring, someone new to the Kansas football roster tended to be right next to him, or at least nearby. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

Notebook: Repetitions 'fairly even' for Kansas QBs this spring

As University of Kansas football coaches evaluated their quarterbacks throughout the spring, each of the three Jayhawks vying for the starting job received equitable chances to make his case. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

'I'm gonna talk that trash': KU safety Mike Lee's banter prominent throughout spring

Every time a Kansas football quarterback experienced the misfortune of throwing an interception during a football practice this spring, the guilty party had more to deal with than the instantaneous frustration related to making a mistake. Those passing turnovers, whether they transpired during drills, seven-on-seven work or team periods, came with an impromptu party in the KU secondary, hosted by safety Mike Lee. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

Notebook: KU football veterans regard atypical spring as a success

Although numerous injuries among offensive linemen inhibited the Kansas football team’s ability to scrimmage as it typically would throughout the past several weeks, veterans of the program deemed the spring portion of the offseason a success. By Benton Smith

Drama-free selection show reveals KU tennis part of NCAA Tournament for 3rd year in a row

Gathered in a half-circle in front of a flat screen TV Tuesday afternoon on the second-floor deck inside Jayhawk Tennis Center at Rock Chalk Park, members of the University of Kansas women’s tennis team didn’t greet their inclusion in the upcoming NCAA Tournament by jumping out of their seats or howling with joy.

Tease photo

David Beaty identifies KU football's under-the-radar spring contributors

While anybody who follows the program knows how valuable veterans such as Daniel Wise, Steven Sims Jr. and Joe Dineen are for Kansas football, the significance of dozens of their teammates easily goes unnoticed, especially this time of year, with the season still months away. Accordingly, head coach David Beaty recently commended some of the less heralded players who impressed him in one way or another over the past several weeks. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

'Little things' helped Ben Johnson secure rookie free agent deal with Chargers

As the final rounds of the NFL Draft played out this past Saturday in Dallas, Ben Johnson observed it all on television, from his mother’s home in Basehor, confident in his football future. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

Scrimmage-free spring 'very different' for KU football

In an alternative, quintessential version of this spring, the Kansas football team would have had enough healthy, functional offensive linemen to scrimmage routinely without fear of losing more blockers up front to injuries. As most observers know by now, though, few scenarios involving the ever-struggling Big 12 program play out ideally. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

Undrafted TE Ben Johnson agrees to deal with L.A. Chargers

After the seven-round NFL Draft concluded Saturday without former Kansas tight end Ben Johnson hearing his name called, the pro prospect from nearby Basehor discovered there was an organization interested in giving him a shot.

Tease photo

5 Jayhawks receive invites to NBA Draft Combine

1 other KU prospect an alternate

When NBA general managers, coaches and scouts descend on Chicago next month for the league’s draft combine, at least five — and possibly six — former Kansas players will be among the 70 or so prospects competing for their attention.

Tease photo

Corione Harris, QBs on full display at KU football's spring-concluding practice

Before cornerback Corione Harris emerged from the Kansas football locker room with his teammates for the program’s spring-concluding open practice Saturday at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, the true freshman from New Orleans playfully joked with fellow Class of 2018 signee and Louisianan Anthony “Pooka” Williams. “Pooka, you can't run with me,” Harris told Williams. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

Jerry Jones: Dorance Armstrong Jr. has shot at becoming 'hell of a pass-rusher' in NFL

Cowboys draft KU DE in 4th round

Each of the previous two years, the NFL Draft came and went without a University of Kansas football player deemed worthy of a selection. As expected, the drought didn’t stretch to three years. Former KU defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. put an end to it Saturday, when Dallas picked him in the fourth round. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

With no spring game, Jayhawks hope to find other ways to 'put on a show' at open practice

In lieu of a traditional spring game Saturday at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, the Jayhawks will close their offseason practice schedule with, well, a typical practice. Fourth-year head coach David Beaty deemed the injuries along the team’s offensive line too plentiful to go through with a scrimmage. One might theorize, though, another motive led to the decision. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

Cultivating 'toughness' a must for Jayhawks during spring football

Ask Kansas football coach David Beaty what his team must accomplish this spring in order to make the offseason practice schedule successful and he won’t disclose imminent changes to game plans or schemes. While those alterations won’t become uncloaked any time soon, Beaty repeatedly over the past few weeks made clear his plans to monitor players’ toughness in order to gauge progress. By Benton Smith

Tease photo

David Beaty: KU football 'at least 3, maybe more' years from fielding roster with 85 'true' scholarship players

David Beaty didn’t have to discuss his program’s current scholarship numbers, but the Kansas head coach had his talking points ready to fire while fielding questions during the Big 12’s spring football media teleconference this week. Asked what he thought about his team’s quarterback play during off-season practices, Beaty first said reasons for optimism at many positions exist, because the Jayhawks have a “healthy, mature, developed roster,” before getting to his pitch. By Benton Smith

Older