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Matt Tait

Stories by Matt

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Big Response: KU freshman Devon Dotson flips script from rough game at West Virginia to help Kansas top Iowa State

He has just 19 college basketball games under his belt to date, but last Saturday’s 65-64 loss at West Virginia was one of Kansas freshman Devon Dotson’s worst. It also was played a huge role in his masterful game against Iowa State on Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse. By Matt Tait

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Garrett, Lawson carry No. 9 Kansas to crucial home win over Iowa State

For all the big performances, memorable moments and clutch plays that helped lead No. 9 Kansas to a wild, 80-76 home victory over No. 24 Iowa State on Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas coach Bill Self had a way of summing it all up that made this latest KU victory sound rather simple. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: Jayhawks have become a regular on Big Monday for good reason

Monday night’s 80-76 win by No. 9 Kansas against No. 24 Iowa State marked the second of four ESPN Big Monday appearances this season for the Kansas men’s basketball program, a ritual of sorts that has become as common as Kansas returning to Maui every four years for the Maui Invitational. And as important as the Big Monday showcases are to the Jayhawks and their passionate basketball fans, there are people at ESPN who believe the Kansas brand is equally as important to Big Monday.

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Game day breakdown: Kansas basketball vs. Iowa State

A look at some of the keys for Kansas in tonight's Big Monday, Big 12 showdown with Iowa State in a rematch of a game from Jan. 5, which Iowa State won in Ames, Iowa, by 17 points. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: Marcus Garrett’s offensive encore a bright spot during KU's latest loss

Morgantown, W.Va. — Five days earlier, in a home win over Texas, it was Marcus Garrett’s jump shot that led to a career night and 20-point outburst for the Kansas sophomore. On Saturday, in KU’s 65-64, gut-wrenching loss at West Virginia, Garrett’s offensive encore was one of the few bright spots in a day gone horribly wrong for the 7th-ranked Jayhawks at WVU Coliseum.

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Morgantown mishap: No. 7 Kansas falters late in 65-64 loss at West Virginia

Morgantown strikes again. Despite controlling the second half and leading for more than 26 minutes of Saturday’s game at West Virginia — including nearly all of the second half — the No. 7-ranked Kansas men’s basketball team said hello to an old nemesis as the final horn sounded at WVU Coliseum. By Matt Tait

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Game Day Breakdown: No. 7 Kansas basketball at West Virginia

A look at some of the keys for 7th-ranked Kansas in today's Big 12 road battle at winless West Virginia. By Matt Tait

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De Sousa's attorney: 'It's time for the NCAA to be fair to Silvio'

Lawyer calls for KU forward's reinstatement

A Kansas City-based attorney representing Kansas basketball forward Silvio De Sousa released a statement on De Sousa’s behalf Thursday afternoon and its message was simple. “It’s time for the NCAA to be fair to Silvio and immediately reinstate his eligibility,” wrote Scott Tompsett, of Tompsett Collegiate Sports Law in Kansas City, Mo. By Matt Tait

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Marcus Garrett's emergence on offense could mean big things for Kansas

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self constantly preaches to his players that if they focus on the right aspects of the game, good things will follow. There has been perhaps no better example of that philosophy this season than sophomore Marcus Garrett, who dropped a career-high 20 points in Monday night’s win over Texas at Allen Fieldhouse, but did not let his offensive explosion get in the way of the rest of his on-court duties. By Matt Tait

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Jayhawks claim 10th consecutive victory over Longhorns with 80-78 win

For all of the power and prestige that the burnt orange brand represents throughout college athletics, the Kansas men’s basketball team sure has found a way to give the Longhorns the short end of the stick. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: Per report, KU officials to ask NCAA to reinstate Silvio De Sousa

According to a Monday report from Seth Davis of The Athletic, the Kansas men’s basketball program is prepared to rule KU sophomore Silvio De Sousa ineligible and request that the NCAA immediately reinstate him. Davis’ report, which cites multiple sources who claim KU is prepared to “formally acknowledge to the NCAA that a violation took place,” answers the question that KU officials would or could not answer last week.

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Game day - No. 7 Kansas vs. Texas

A look at some of the keys for 7th-ranked Kansas in tonight's Big Monday matchup vs. Texas at 8 p.m. on ESPN, the first of four Big Monday games for the Jayhawks this season. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: KU senior Lagerald Vick reaches 1,000-point milestone on 22nd birthday

Waco, Texas — Kansas senior Lagerald Vick has had a bunch of memorable moments in a KU uniform, but none quite like this. Late in the first half of Saturday’s 73-68 victory at Baylor, Vick drained a 3-pointer from the wing, just left of the top of the key, that put Kansas ahead 27-22 and launched Vick into some exclusive company.

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No. 7 Kansas survives late scare to claim road win over Baylor

Waco, Texas — There were some issues at the end of Saturday’s 73-68 victory by No. 7 Kansas over Baylor at the Ferrell Center that certainly will be talked about, but might never be watched. None of them will change the way KU coach Bill Self felt about his latest road victory in the Big 12.

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Game day: No. 7 Kansas at Baylor

A look at some of the keys for 7th-ranked Kansas in today's Big 12 road battle with Baylor in Waco, Texas. By Matt Tait

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Matt Tait: Chip Lindsey departure doesn't have to spell doom and gloom for Kansas football

There’s enough reason to believe that Chip Lindsey was not Kansas football coach Les Miles’ first choice as KU’s new offensive coordinator to make Lindsey’s departure a little easier to digest. But that’s only if Miles’ Plan C or Plan D or Plan E or wherever we’re at on the list at this point can bring the same kind of buzz and clout to the long-suffering KU program. By Matt Tait

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Though still not perfect, the Kansas offense was a much prettier product vs. TCU

The easy thing to do would be to credit the high-flying freshman for bringing an entirely new dimension to the Kansas basketball lineup. And, sure, no one would blame you for crediting Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji and his lob-catching, high-leaping, energy-laden offensive game for adding life to a sometimes-stagnant KU offense. By Matt Tait

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Self: Doc says Azubuike's surgery 'couldn't have gone any better'

While most, if not all, followers of Kansas basketball knew that KU junior Udoka Azubuike would not play in Wednesday night’s 77-68 victory over No. 25 TCU, there were a few who were curious where he was during the 7th-ranked Jayhawks’ bounce-back win at Allen Fieldhouse. By Matt Tait

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Oh my, Ochai: KU freshman Agbaji delivers dazzling debut to help No. 7 Kansas top No. 25 TCU

He waited 14 games and 9 weeks to finally play, and then had to wait 4 minutes and 9 seconds longer to actually get into a game. From there, it took Kansas freshman Ochai Agbaji just 10 more seconds to make an impact that was felt throughout Allen Fieldhouse long into the night during the Jayhawks’ 77-68 victory over No. 25 TCU on Wednesday. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: Freshman Devon Dotson continues to grow as leader for Jayhawks

Before Wednesday night’s 77-68 victory over No. 25 TCU at Allen Fieldhouse, the last time the 7th-ranked Kansas men’s basketball team was on the floor for Big 12 play, an obvious lack of leadership led to a meltdown at Iowa State and the Jayhawks walked away on the wrong end of a 17-point beating after coughing up 24 turnovers.

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Seventh-ranked Jayhawks, injured Azubuike preparing to move forward into uncertain times

With KU junior Udoka Azubuike lost for the season, the 7th-ranked Kansas men's basketball team is preparing to move forward into uncertain times for both the program and Azubuike. By Matt Tait

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Kansas basketball coach Bill Self exploring idea of pulling redshirt off freshman guard Ochai Agbaji

Even though there are seven inches and 60 pounds difference between them, one unexpected benefactor of the season-ending wrist injury to Udoka Azubuike could be Kansas freshman Ochai Agbaji.By Matt Tait

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Udoka Azubuike injury shifts focus even more to the status of KU sophomore Silvio De Sousa

The Silvio De Sousa question likely just went from a simmer to a full-blown boil for Kansas basketball fans. By Matt Tait

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KU center Udoka Azubuike out for the season

Sunday MRI reveals torn ligaments in right hand

According to a news release from the KU basketball program sent out Sunday night, an MRI of KU junior Udoka Azubuike’s right hand and wrist revealed that the junior from Nigeria tore ligaments and would need season-ending surgery. By Matt Tait

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KU coach Bill Self after KU's ugly night at Iowa State: 'The sky's not falling, even though we sucked'

There’s no telling exactly how Kansas basketball coach Bill Self felt about things when he woke up on Sunday morning, anywhere from 12-20 hours after fifth-ranked KU’s 77-60 loss at Iowa State on Saturday. But not long after the Jayhawks’ second setback of the season, which came largely as the result of a season-high 24 KU turnovers, Self already was providing himself — and the KU fan base — with instructions on how to move forward. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: Udoka Azubuike misses game against Cyclones with wrist injury

Ames, Iowa — Throughout the month of December, after an ankle sprain against Wofford cost him a few weeks of game time, the Kansas men’s basketball team knew it would be without junior center Udoka Azubuike during the four full games he missed and planned accordingly.

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No. 5 Kansas coughs up 24 turnovers in 77-60 thumping at Iowa State

Ames, Iowa — With a grin hardly befitting the two hours of torture he had just endured, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self stepped to the podium inside the Hilton Coliseum media room on Saturday evening after No. 5 KU’s 77-60 thumping at the hands of Iowa State and asked a simple question. “How was you guys’ day?” the KU coach asked rhetorically after watching his team struggle through 40 face-melting minutes of whoa-that-looks-hard basketball.

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Game day - No. 5 Kansas basketball at Iowa State

A look at some of the keys for fifth-ranked Kansas in today's first Big 12 road test of the 2018-19 season, at 11-2 Iowa State in Ames, Iowa. By Matt Tait

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Kansas basketball coach Bill Self calls KU's 3-point woes 'worrisome' after 4-of-21 effort vs. Oklahoma

Thirteen games into the 2018-19 Kansas basketball season, the fifth-ranked Jayhawks are shooting .344 from 3-point range as a team, which puts them in the bottom half of all Division I basketball teams as we head into conference play. By Matt Tait

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No. 5 KU overcomes slow starts in both halves to take down No. 23 OU

Say this for the fifth-ranked Kansas men’s basketball team: It sure does know how to make things hard on itself. The latest example of this reality, call it unnecessary complexity, came Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse, where the Jayhawks struggled through sleepy starts to both halves, but still held off No. 23 Oklahoma, 70-63, in the Big 12 opener for both teams.

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Notebook: Jayhawks begin quest for 15th straight Big 12 title with win over Sooners

With Wednesday’s 70-63 victory at Allen Fieldhouse, the games are underway and the race is on, as No. 5 Kansas — and three other Big 12 teams that won on Wednesday night — took an early lead in the chase for the 2019 Big 12 Conference crown. While 17 games and a ton of grinding remains in the weeks ahead, KU coach Bill Self recently was asked what he thought it would take to win the Big 12 this season.

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The 10 most-talked-about KU basketball games of 2018

Before the Kansas men's basketball team gets going with another round of memories in 2019, here’s one last look at the team's most-talked-about games from 2018. By Matt Tait

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Game day - No. 5 Kansas basketball vs. No. 23 Oklahoma

A look at some of the keys for fifth-ranked Kansas in tonight's Big 12 opener at Allen Fieldhouse against No. 23 Oklahoma. By Matt Tait

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Individual honors, postseason success highlight Top 10 KU sports stories of 2018

Another year has come and gone for Kansas athletics and, like so many years before it, 2018 offered a wide range of good moments and bad ones, memorable names and faces and a few accomplishments that will live in KU’s history books forever. By Matt Tait

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KU's Bill Self believes Jayhawks' best practices will come in next 2 weeks

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self is known for getting serious improvement out of his teams and players during winter break. And while the Jayhawks have had time to work on a few things during the past couple of weeks, Self said Monday that the bulk of the work and progress is still ahead. By Matt Tait

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KU guard Marcus Garrett offers Jayhawks flexibility as a starter or reserve

Saturday’s return of KU junior Udoka Azubuike had ripple effects felt throughout the Jayhawks’ lineup. One day after Kansas basketball coach Bill Self talked about easing up on the high volume of minutes he had been giving KU guard Marcus Garrett in Azubuike’s absence, the sophomore from Dallas returned to the bench for the opening tip and played just 18 minutes in the Jayhawks’ 87-63 win over Eastern Michigan at Allen Fieldhouse. By Matt Tait

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Udoka Azubuike returns to help No. 5 KU dominate Eastern Michigan

For the first time in 25 days, Kansas junior Udoka Azubuike was back in the starting lineup for the Jayhawks on Saturday, taking his usual spot in the jump circle to start KU’s final tuneup for Big 12 Conference play. Although Azubuike’s presence in the starting lineup came as a surprise to the sold-out Allen Fieldhouse crowd, what followed it was even more of a surprise to the Jayhawks themselves.

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Notebook: Jayhawks employ different defensive scheme against Eagles

The result of Eastern Michigan’s first possession showed it, and, after the game, EMU senior James Thompson IV confirmed it. KU’s plan to double-team the post during Saturday’s 87-63 Kansas victory at Allen Fieldhouse completely caught the Eagles off guard.

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Game day: No. 5 Kansas basketball vs. Eastern Michigan

A look at some of the keys for fifth-ranked Kansas in today's home clash with Eastern Michigan in what will be the Jayhawks' final tune-up before the start of Big 12 Conference play. By Matt Tait

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KU junior Dedric Lawson taking full advantage of life on the big stage

For the second offseason in a row, after singing the praises of former KU transfer Malik Newman a year earlier, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self spent a fair amount of time talking up Memphis transfer Dedric Lawson in the months leading up to the 2018-19 season. So far, Lawson sure is making his head coach look like a genius for it. By Matt Tait

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KU center Udoka Azubuike's status still in doubt for Saturday vs. Eastern Michigan

If injured junior Udoka Azubuike returns to action on Saturday, when the fifth-ranked Kansas basketball team hosts Eastern Michigan to close out the calendar year, he won’t be playing at 100 percent. By Matt Tait

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Matt Tait: Big 12 men's basketball race far from a foregone conclusion

With the fifth-ranked Kansas men’s basketball team now less than a week away from the actual start of its run toward a 15th consecutive Big 12 Conference regular season title, the conference’s list of true challengers has basically been divided right down the middle, with four teams looking like real threats, four teams currently struggling and one team — Kansas State — split down the middle as a sort of unknown because of an injury to star forward Dean Wade. By Matt Tait

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Current KU big men soak up advice from former Jayhawk Landen Lucas in an effort to improve post defense

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has not been shy about offering criticism of his team’s post defense throughout the nonconference portion of KU’s 2018-19 season. But the Jayhawks got a recent lesson from one of KU's better post defenders in the Self era that they hope will pay dividends the rest of the way.By Matt Tait

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Trust, talent key aspects in depth of relationship between Bill Self and KU point guard Devon Dotson

When Devonte’ Graham walked off the floor at the 2018 Final Four for the last time, Kansas coach Bill Self knew in that moment — even if he wasn’t thinking about it at the time — that he would have to rely on somebody new to handle point guard duties for the Jayhawks during the 2018-19 season. By Matt Tait

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Inability to hit from outside as much to blame as anything for KU's first loss of 2018-19 season

Despite 30 points and 14 rebounds from junior forward Dedric Lawson, the top-ranked Kansas men’s basketball team dropped its first game of the season on Saturday night in the desert, 80-76 to No. 18 Arizona State. And it was more than late-game miscues that cost KU. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: ASU coach Bobby Hurley won't forget upset over No. 1 KU

Tempe, Ariz. — Even with all of his big wins as a player at Duke and during the first stretch of his head coaching career, Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley had some serious praise for Saturday’s 80-76 victory over No. 1 Kansas at Wells Fargo Arena, just the second win by an ASU team over No. 1 in school history.

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No. 1 Kansas falters in final minutes during 80-76 loss to Arizona State

Tempe, Ariz. — His team led for 37 of the game’s 40 minutes against the No. 18 team on the road, but all Kansas coach Bill Self could talk about after top-ranked KU’s first loss of the season — 80-76 to Arizona State at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday night — was the miscommunication at the end that cost the Jayhawks.

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Game day: No. 1 Kansas basketball at No. 18 Arizona State

A look at some of the keys for top-ranked Kansas in tonight's first true road game of the season at No. 18 Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz. By Matt Tait

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No. 18 Arizona State aiming for eye-opening win over top-ranked Kansas

It’s been since 1981 and has only happened once in school history. Suffice it to say, beating — or even just playing — the No. 1 ranked college basketball team in the country does not happen all that often around the Arizona State campus. But that’s exactly what the 18th-ranked Sun Devils (8-2) will get an opportunity to do at 8 p.m. Saturday night, when top-ranked and unbeaten Kansas (10-0) comes to town for a Top 20 clash at Wells Fargo Arena. By Matt Tait

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Matt Tait: Les Miles' juco signing strategy has different feel than recent experiments

Let the record show that the first official recruiting class in the Les Miles era of Kansas football will include at least six junior college signees. Insert your best eye roll, more-of-the-same statements and belly laughs worthy of Old Saint Nick here. Hasn’t Kansas tried this whole juco thing way too many times before? Yes and no. By Matt Tait

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