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Staff

Matt Tait

KUsports.com men's basketball reporter/KUsports.com Editor

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The year was 1978 and on a warm day in late June, I entered the world at the base of the Flatirons in beautiful Boulder, Colorado.

Because I am a native of Colorado (yes, I used to have the sticker on my car) I instantly was granted membership into the fandom of any and all Colorado sports teams. Throughout the years, I've even been known to embellish the circumstances surrounding my birth to tell the tale that the first thing I remember seeing was glorious Folsom Field, home of the Colorado Buffaloes. Not true. Sue me.

My parents are both natives of Kansas, my mom attended Lawrence High and my dad is a Shawnee Mission South graduate. Because of that, and their love for KU, I moved to Lawrence when I was 10, a few months after Danny and the Miracles made their run to the title (sweet timing, right) and have been here ever since.

I continue to call Colorado home and have made many attempts at returning there after moving to Lawrence. I intended to return for high school.... didn't happen. I was certain that I would attend Colorado State University for college.... that didn't happen either, mostly because of the reputation of KU's Journalism School and my in-state status. After that, though, I was sure I would move back to Colorado for my first job. As you surely know by now, that didn't happen either. I used to wonder why I never made it back there, but then it hit me: Lawrence must be a pretty great place and I must like it here. Both are true.

During my time in Lawrence, I attended Pinckney Elementary School for two years, West Junior High for three and graduated from Lawrence High in 1996. After that I attended the University of Kansas and graduated in 2000 with a degree in Journalism.

During my college days, I covered the KU baseball and basketball teams for the University Daily Kansan. While I enjoyed covering baseball and learned a lot while doing it, basketball was the beat everybody wanted and I still remember my first hoops story for the UDK: Michael Jordan retires. There was something pretty cool about seeing my byline next to a mug shot of Jordan. Other highlights from my time at the UDK include my work following the death of Wilt Chamberlain and a great series that my former roommate (Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star) and I did on the top 10 KU athletes of the century around the Y2K craze. The KU athletic department voted on the top 10 and Sam and I split up the names and did five stories apiece. Mine: Wilt, Ray Evans, Al Oerter, Jim Ryun and Ralph Miller. What a great time.

In addition to working for the UDK, I was the publisher of a KU sports web site run by Rivals.com — JayhawkTalk.com — which I continued to operate for a little more than a year after graduation.

I joined the World Company in June of 2001, when I was hired to become the sports editor of the Bonner Springs Chieftain and Basehor Sentinel weekly newspapers. In 2004, my position grew to include becoming the sports editor of the Shawnee Dispatch, another weekly, which I helped start from the ground up. In July of 2007 I got the call to the big leagues when I was named High School Sports Editor at the Journal-World.

It was an awesome feeling covering high school sports in the town I grew up in. Many of the coaches who were around when I was at LHS still are there today and it has been an absolute blast reconnecting with them.

In February of 2010, my job title changed again when I was promoted into the role of KU football beat writer. After helping out with our football coverage during Mark Mangino's final couple of seasons, I covered the entire Turner Gill and Charlie Weis eras and lived to tell about it. I never played football — unless you count games in the snow or flag football with friends — but made it my daily goal to dig as deep as I could into the KU program to help explain how and why things happen while also analyzing the players, coaches and trends surrounding the Kansas football team in a basketball-crazed town.

In October of 2013, I was promoted to KUsports.com Editor and began working more closely with all aspects of our coverage of KU athletics while also managing writers, working with web developers, overseeing and making decisions about our coverage and online initiatives, trouble-shooting and interacting even more with our readers.

During the summer of 2016, the Journal-World and KUsports.com were sold by the World Company to Ogden Newspapers and as a part of that transition I became the KU basketball beat writer while also retaining my title as KUsports.com Editor.

In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, basketball, golf, tennis, yard games, playing guitar, fantasy sports and cheering for any and all Colorado teams.

Recent Stories

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The loud emergence of quiet Lagerald Vick

Although his natural disposition keeps him quiet off the court, Kansas junior Lagerald Vick is anything but silent on the floor. Here's the story of how KU's fast-rising star found his voice.By Matt Tait

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Notebook: Self says Azubuike 'deserved' technical foul

He made nine of 12 shots, finished one rebound shy of a double-double (20 point and nine boards) and added a steal, a block and assist and two fouls in 27 minutes. But the main thing on the mind of Kansas coach Bill Self about big man Udoka Azubuike following Tuesday’s 114-71 whipping of Texas Southern at Allen Fieldhouse was one of the things Azubuike did wrong. By Matt Tait

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Jayhawks dial up record 19 3-pointers in rout of Texas Southern

The phone call was placed with the intent to be a prank, but it turned out being a premonition. Tuesday afternoon, several hours before Bill Self's third-ranked Kansas basketball team throttled Mike Davis' Texas Southern squad, 114-71, at Allen Fieldhouse, Self gave his old friend a ring and reminder. By Matt Tait.

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Game day Breakdown: No. 3 KU basketball vs. Texas Southern

A look at some of the keys for third-ranked Kansas in tonight's home clash with Texas Southern. By Matt Tait

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Jayhawks still preparing to play without freshman forward Billy Preston

Although he offered no actual update on the status of withheld forward Billy Preston, who has missed all three of KU's regular season games so far, Kansas coach Bill Self admitted to being “worried” about the situation.By Matt Tait

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Self thrilled by 2018 recruiting haul, but still searching for more

Even with four future Jayhawks already signed in the 2018 recruiting class, KU men's baskteball coach Bill Self and his staff are searching for more.By Matt Tait

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Game day Breakdown: No. 4 KU basketball vs. South Dakota State

A look at some of the keys for fourth-ranked Kansas in Friday's matchup with South Dakota State at Allen Fieldhouse. By Matt Tait

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Self says Billy Preston's status unchanged

Jayhawks preparing to play without their freshman forward Friday night

The Kansas men's basketball team went into Thursday's practice preparing to play Friday's game against South Dakota State without Billy Preston. By Matt Tait

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Five-star guard Quentin Grimes calls feeling of signing with KU indescribable

Quentin Grimes, a five-star guard ranked No. 11 by Rivals.com in the Class of 2018, announced his commitment to Kansas at a ceremony at College Park High in The Woodlands, Texas on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. Shortly thereafter, he sent his national letter of intent to the KU basketball offices to make his commitment official. By Matt Tait

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KMCI-TV reaches deal with Spectrum Sports to simulcast early-season KU basketball games

There's good news for Kansas City-area Kansas basketball fans who in recent years have struggled to see a handful of early-season KU games televised on The Jayhawk Network. By Matt Tait

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