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Tom Keegan

Stories by Tom

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Tom Keegan: Coaching search thoughts and a farewell to Lawrence

You know you can’t run or jump or withstand contact the way the athletes you cover do, which brings us to why coaching searches are such a blast to follow: You very often are convinced that you can do a better job with those than the people conducting them. Too often, you are right.

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Tom Keegan: Kansas primed to upset Kansas State

Three weeks ago, when Kansas State was enjoying its bye week, coming off of a 31-12 blasting of Oklahoma State and Kansas was getting torched by Texas Tech, 48-16, it didn’t occur to me that the dully named Sunflower Showdown could amount to much this season.

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Tom Keegan: How old is Les Miles? Who cares?

Free agent football coach Les Miles’ age seems to be a concern for some who wonder if it’s a reason for Kansas to pass on hiring him.

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Tom Keegan: Despite shooting struggles, Dedric Lawson thrives in debut

Indianapolis — In his much-anticipated Kansas debut Tuesday night in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, fourth-year junior Dedric Lawson forced a couple of bad shots, shot just 27.8 percent from the field, ran the floor with that borderline awkward gait of his and still showed why he easily represents his team’s best shot at making it back to the Final Four.

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Tom Keegan: Pick your favorite next KU football coach from this list of 17 names

Jeff Long held a very candid press conference Sunday night in the wake of the announcement that David Beaty would coach the final three games of the season for Kansas and won’t be retained.

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Tom Keegan: Beaty's failure to execute his own blueprint led to demise

So nervous at his introductory press conference that he twice said “Texas” when he meant “Kansas,” David Beaty still was able to articulate his plan for rescuing a football program flailing in quicksand. He could not execute his blueprint because he so quickly abandoned it. In three games shy of four seasons on the job, he didn’t move the program forward an inch and has a 6-39 record. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Coaching change would energize fanbase

The sun eventually popped out of the clouds Saturday at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, but the outlook for Kansas football remained the same: indefinitely gloomy. The final scoreboard read Iowa State 27, Kansas 3. The color scheme in the stands and the loudest roars from the crowd painted an even more damning view of the state of the program. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: KU forward Dedric Lawson already looks like a pro

Dedric Lawson easily could have passed for an NBA veteran Tuesday night, stopping by his perennial powerhouse school, giving teenagers the thrill of running with them as he treats them as equals.

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Tom Keegan: Even Bill Self wonders what preseason No. 1 really means

Kansas carries college basketball’s No. 1 preseason ranking into Tuesday night’s season-opener vs. No. 10 Michigan State in Indianapolis, and its 16th-year head coach posed an interesting question about the ranking.

Tom Keegan: Snappy Wirtel family on both sidelines and in stands Saturday

The better the long snapper, the less likely anybody is to recognize his name.

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Tom Keegan: Udoka's time will come, just not Thursday

The day before Kansas played Emporia State at Allen Fieldhouse in the exhibition opener, coach Bill Self spoke in interesting fashion about the contrasting styles of his two tallest starters, Udoka Azubuike and Dedric Lawson.

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Tom Keegan: Gap between KU and K-State narrowing in two sports

Kansas has the better basketball program, Kansas State the superior football team. It’s been that way nearly every year for more than a quarter of a century.

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Tom Keegan: Jayhawks rewarded by sticking with Bender at QB

If he had it to do over again, Kansas senior quarterback Peyton Bender would have thrown his intentional-safety pass with his back to the field higher so that time would have elapsed, instead of leaving one long second on the game clock.

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Tom Keegan: Jury rules Adidas defrauds KU, strangely happy news for 'victims'

Kansas City, Mo. — Adidas, apparel partner of the University of Kansas athletic department, was found guilty of defrauding the university, and it was the best news the nation’s No. 1-ranked college basketball program had heard in months.

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Tom Keegan: Daylon Charlot finally put on stage

The euphoria of the Kansas football fan base when David Beaty landed a pair of Alabama transfers reached offseason levels that it hadn’t experienced since Charlie Weis’ rapid-fire announcements of a pair of five-star quarterbacks transferring to KU.

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Tom Keegan: Even No. 1 preseason ranking can't lift cloud hovering over KU basketball

News broke Monday that Kansas earned the distinction as preseason No. 1 in the Associated Press men's college basketball poll.

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Tom Keegan: Why does Carter Stanley keep drawing the short stick?

If you found watching Kansas football on television even more excruciating than usual Saturday, consider how lucky you were compared to redshirt junior quarterback Carter Stanley.

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Tom Keegan: Does Kansas have a clean basketball program?

It’s reached the point where the issues that need to be addressed with the Kansas basketball program have grown beyond what’s provable and what may or may not lead to an NCAA violation.

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Tom Keegan: For KU tight ends past and present, it's all about catching opportunities

The Associated Press released its midseason All-American team Tuesday afternoon, and not surprisingly, one of David Beaty’s Kansas recruits made the first-team offense.

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Tom Keegan: Stormy texting puts KU basketball on center stage at trial

What you make of the Monday revelations from the trial on corruption in college basketball very well could depend on what the giant letters in fancy font at the top of the framed diploma on your wall spell.

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Tom Keegan: Marcus Garrett has ugly jumper, beautiful game

Every so often, an athlete so obviously lacks a particular skill to such a degree that the image of his or her deficiency can color a fan’s nightmares. In some cases, that very same athlete is a coach’s dream.

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Tom Keegan: Beaty goes from meddler to autocrat

Athletic directors in search of new head football coaches find that there are advantages and disadvantages to hiring assistant coaches to their first jobs as head coaches.

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Jayhawks rising ahead of schedule

Ainise Havili, Kelsie Payne and Madison Rigdon were so talented they led Kansas to its first Final Four volleyball appearance as sophomores, when Laura “Bird” Kuhn was named national assistant coach of the year.

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Tom Keegan: David Beaty still firing away

David Beaty almost found the right solution to the Kansas football program’s main problem. In fact, he only missed by one letter. Beaty hired himself again as offensive coordinator. He should have fired himself as head coach. By Tom Keegan

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Doug Meacham out: David Beaty fires OC, hires himself for second time during rocky tenure

Fourth-year Kansas football coach David Beaty engaged his itchy trigger finger yet again Wednesday, firing offensive coordinator Doug Meacham in a two-paragraph press release. Beaty said he will handle in-game play-calling and will coach quarterbacks, duties Meacham handled for the first half of a 2-4 season.

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Tom Keegan: Silvio De Sousa says, 'I know I am going to play this year'

Silvio De Sousa was sitting in his assigned seat at Kansas basketball Media Day, fully decked out in his home uniform and sharing his delight at his sophomore season drawing closer.

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Tom Keegan: KU legend John Hadl never will retire friendships made on the job

Sure, John Hadl’s name helped him to do his job so well for the Williams Fund, but his ears were an even greater tool in his former role as Kansas closer on big gifts to the athletic department.

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Tom Keegan: Kurtis Townsend's basketball life filled with stars

So maybe it’s fitting that a basketball lifer who before ever working his first practice at KU already had crossed paths with so many basketball giants ended up here to become the longest tenured assistant coach in the history of the school’s men’s basketball program.

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Tom Keegan: Kansas football coach David Beaty safe for now

In the wake of Saturday’s closer-than-expected, 38-22 loss to West Virginia, first-year Kansas athletic director Jeff Long accommodated my request for an interview about his impressions of the football program at the halfway point of the season. Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: KU defense did its part in loss to WVU

Morgantown, W.V. — The Kansas defense played with anger, born of an insult, one delivered by the opposing coach no less. The Jayhawks played as if they were tired of being the butt of jokes, fed up with not getting credit for the improvements they have made, ready to fight back and fight hard. The defense did its part Saturday in a 38-22 loss to West Virginia at Milan Puskar Stadium, where 57,419 watched a more competitive game than they imagined, but little else went right for the Jayhawks (2-5 overall, 0-3 in the Big 12).

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Self on KU forward Dedric Lawson: 'He's the best passer we've ever had here'

Not all great passers in basketball are small guards who take the ball down the court and run the team. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Can West Virginia stop Khalil Herbert this time?

Just 53 Saturdays ago, Khalil Herbert cut around, sped past and bowled over West Virginia defenders to finish with a whopping 291 yards in a game Kansas lost, 56-34.

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Chris Thompson set to start rookie season on PGA Tour

Two-time University of Kansas All-American and Lawrence resident Chris Thompson tees off at 3:20 p.m. Central time Thursday in the Safeway Open, his first tournament as a member of the PGA Tour.

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Former Royals pitcher, KU baseball coach Marty Pattin dies at 75

Former Kansas City Royals pitcher and University of Kansas baseball coach Marty Pattin of Lawrence died in his sleep Wednesday while visiting friends in his hometown of Charleston, Ill., according to family friends.

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Tom Keegan: What to make of Day 1 of college hoops trial

Interesting first day of the trial on the scandal that has the potential to rock college basketball.

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Tom Keegan: Ryan Willis makes big splash for Virginia Tech

Ryan Willis left the Kansas football program taking far less confidence out of it than he brought into it. He was a beaten young man in need of a fresh start.

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Tom Keegan: Carter Stanley should remain the team's starting QB

David Beaty wasn’t the first football coach to say he needed to look at the film before evaluating a player’s performance. And if the fourth-year leader of Kansas’ program lets the minutia of the Oklahoma State game film outweigh the big picture that unfolded on the field, he won’t be the first to do that either. But if Beaty does nitpick until he sees enough to justify basing his decisions on which quarterback to start on how each one matches up against the next opponent, he would be making a mistake.

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Tom Keegan: Lagerald Vick's unexpected return should benefit guard and KU

The evening’s biggest shocker came when the final buzzer sounded on the Late Night scrimmage and one of the quietest players in recent Kansas basketball history took the court with microphone in hand. And then Lagerald Vick thanked the crowd for coming. Public speaking is outside of Vick’s comfort zone, but there really won’t be any comfort zone for him in his final season. He’ll have to be comfortable with whatever the coach asks of him. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Freshman David McCormack leads with 'brute force'

Nothing about how the sculpted McCormack looks or talks suggests he’s a teenager. He carries himself with a maturity more typically displayed by college graduates. He seems so buttoned-up that it’s hard to imagine that he’s just a couple of years removed from tipping the scales at more than 300 pounds.

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Tom Keegan: Carter Stanley KU's QB best suited to facing Big 12 competition

Carter Stanley’s name plate was on an empty table in the front of the Gridiron Room, where select Kansas football players do media interviews every Tuesday afternoon. The empty table reserved for Peyton Bender was tucked in the left corner of the room.

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Tom Keegan: Gary Woodland's confidence riding high

Gary Woodland finished the PGA Tour season ranked 29th on the money list with $3,108,907, 26th in the final FedEx Cup standings and is 40th in the Official World Golf Rankings.

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Tom Keegan: Army's near upset of Oklahoma a nice blueprint

Look for eight more Big 12 defenses to play Kansas the way Baylor did Saturday in scoring a 26-7 victory vs. the Jayhawks: Put eight men in the box, gang tackle Pooka Williams, and trust that KU’s receivers won’t get open deep.

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QB Miles Kendrick injured during KU loss at Baylor

Waco, Texas — Backup quarterback Miles Kendrick left the game with an unspecified injury midway through the third quarter and did not return.

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Kansas offense reverts to past in 26-7 loss to Baylor in Big 12 opener

Waco, Texas — The Baylor football team’s defense figured out how to take Pooka Williams out of the game for all but one big run and poof, just like magic, the Kansas offense vanished.

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Tom Keegan: KU football bettter prepared for Baylor this time

There are tangible reasons to believe KU has a better shot of competing in the Baylor game this time. Yet, the intangible factors appear even stronger.

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Tom Keegan: Pooka Williams as flexbone QB?

So you have to wonder, if KU implemented a flexbone offense, a la Army and Navy, would that improve both the running game and the passing game?

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Tom Keegan: Azur Kamara grateful for journey from African soccer player to Kansas football player

Before taking up football, Azur Kamara’s dream was to return to Ivory Coast to become a soccer player for the national team. He said when he walked onto the field for his first high school football practice, he didn't have the first clue how to watch the sport, much less play it.

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Tom Keegan: Growing KU football fan club includes KU basketball

Mike Lee, third-year starter for the Kansas football team, and basketball player Marcus Garrett both are skilled at intercepting passes and that’s not all they have in common. They both also happen to be big fans of Mike Lee.

Brad Davis wins Ross Randall Shootout

Eudora — It’s been a good year for members of the 1999 Kansas men’s golf team that won the Big 12 title.

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Tom Keegan: Pooka Williams, through the eyes of a Louisiana high school football fan

If you’re still on the fence about whether to head out to David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium for an 11 a.m. kickoff Saturday vs. Rutgers, don’t take my word for it. Heed the words of someone who has witnessed a ton of Pooka highlights live.

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