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Tom Keegan

Stories by Tom

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Tom Keegan: Devonte' Graham makes his case for best player in Big 12 against Oklahoma

Eighty minutes before game time Monday night in Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas senior point guard Devonte’ Graham sat in a chair on the Oklahoma bench, eyed his target and launched a shot toward the basket. Swish. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Sherron Collins not yet ready to give up on basketball

During his freshman season at Kansas, Sherron Collins tried a lot of things at full speed and sometimes the game he saw in front of him seemed in his mind to be going even faster than he was.

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Tom Keegan: Bob Huggins' frustrations erupt in late-game ejection

West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins cooled down almost as quickly as he flipped his lid in a way that earned him back-to-back technical fouls and an ejection with eight seconds remaining in Saturday night’s game in Allen Fieldhouse. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Jay Bilas wonders why college athletes can't have agents

Part attorney, part NCAA watchdog, part basketball analyst, ESPN’s Jay Bilas is one of the better thinkers in our ever-expanding sports world.

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Tom Keegan: Voice of current Jayhawks listens to voice from past

If Kansas basketball coach Bill Self trusted another player enough to put the basketball and game in his hands, Devonte’ Graham wouldn’t have a streak of nine consecutive 40-minute outings.

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Tom Keegan: Big 12 basketball race heading into home stretch

The old rules no longer apply in Big 12 basketball. Not long ago, you could look at the rest of a team’s schedule and come pretty close to projecting the wins and losses.

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Tom Keegan: Bill Self's second-half gamble with Udoka Azubuike pays off

Iowa State’s Solomon Young went up for a short baseline jumper, and Kansas center Udoka Azubuike went up with him and made contact. The whistle blew, and 21 seconds into the second half, Azubuike picked up his third foul. He stole a glance toward the bench, figuring he would see Mitch Lightfoot being summoned to replace him. Lightfoot remained seated. “I thought (Kansas coach Bill Self) was going to take me out, to be honest with you, but he kept me in the game,” Azubuike said afterward. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Local recruiting makes sense for national-powerhouse program

Against the backdrop of stories about ailing team chemistry and Bill Self talking about having to coach effort in February for the first time at Kansas, encouraging news broke on the recruiting front for the 13-time-defending Big 12 champion. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: RPI remains hidden impediment to NCAA tournament fairness

Unless and until the NCAA, its affiliated television networks and all media covering college basketball denounce and distance themselves from the dreaded RPI rankings, March Madness seeding won’t approach anything that resembles fair. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Pregame injury serves as bad omen for Svi, KU's offense

You know it’s not your day when you can’t escape pregame warmups without an injury to a key player. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Miles Kendrick looks up to short quarterback for inspiration

Kansas sophomore signee Miles Kendrick doesn’t look at a tall quarterback through green-tinted glasses of envy. He’s more likely to look at him and wonder how much better Stretch might be if only had the advantage of being shorter than the prototypical passer.

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Tom Keegan: KU turning into Juco U in football recruiting

Fourth-year Kansas football coach David Beaty came to Wednesday’s press conference on signing day armed with numbers. He was eager to use them to demonstrate his point that he was not putting the Kansas football program right back in the same rut that he inherited from his predecessor. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Lagerald Vick begins crawling out of his funk

Someone had to lend Devonte' Graham and Udoka Azubuike a hand Tuesday night against TCU. Slowly, Lagerald Vick crept out of his hole, not all the way out — not yet — but just enough to at least make TCU pay a little for sending extra attention the way of Azubuike and for not leaving Svi Mykhailiuk. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Talk of No. 1 seed for Kansas rightly fades after loss to Oklahoma State

Kansas had started showing up as a No. 1 seed in various NCAA tournament projections until Oklahoma State knocked off the Jayhawks in Saturday's stunner.

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Tom Keegan: Super Sunday for KU golfers Gary Woodland, Chris Thompson

The best round of his Web.com Tour season behind him, Chris Thompson returned to his hotel room in Panama City, Panama and shifted from competitor to TV spectator with a strong rooting interest.

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Tom Keegan: Sluggish start removes sizzle of home-court advantage

Kansas looked more foggy than Phoggy from the start Saturday in trying and failing to stave off a 21st-century first. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Defense key to Kansas title defense

Well-run plays and clutch shots from thrilling games tend to echo the longest and loudest. Yet, as Kansas has shown in winning most of its cliffhangers this season, sound defense plays just as big a role.

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Tom Keegan: Rotation likely to stay at seven for Kansas basketball

Most of the rest of us couldn’t help but take our minds off the moment to wonder how much better a bigger, more balanced Kansas basketball roster would look once Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa were cleared to play in games. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Malik Newman finds his role, confidence through rebounding

Gone is the first-year Kansas player who at times looked lost in thought, wondering how to fit in, what to do and what not to do. Nine days after the calendar flipped to 2018 that player faded away. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Former background players on marquee for Sunflower Showdown

Highly skilled for a man his size, he showed flashes of brilliance early in his college basketball career, but just when you thought he was about to burst out he would lapse into retreat mode, deferring to flashier stars.

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Tom Keegan: Udoka Azubuike's revamped free-throw style yet to be tested

Defending without fouling was among the many things Texas A & M did well in the second half of a game it lost to Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse, 79-68, Saturday. As a result, Kansas didn’t reach the bonus until 48 seconds remained, so the Aggies didn’t employ the Hack-A-Udoka strategy. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Trae not too young to learn value of facilitating teammates

Sometimes, it takes the great ones longer than others to fully trust less talented teammates. It took Michael Jordan’s fourth NBA coach, Phil Jackson, to convince the superstar that the road to championships is one traveled by teams, not individuals. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Points not only relevant point for measuring OU and KU point guards

The greatest testament to the strength of Big 12 basketball lies in studying how Oklahoma freshman Trae Young’s season has unfolded.

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Tom Keegan: Sporting KC's Seth Sinovic a Jayhawk basketball fan for life

The romantic notion that professional athletes play kids' games and don’t realize that the rest of us would be happy to play for free is a load of hogwash, of course.

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Tom Keegan: There's some beauty to KU's 'ugly' win over Baylor

With apologies to the 1983 Chicago White Sox, there is no such thing as winning ugly. Winning sends everyone home happy, from players to coaches to spectators to ushers to bar owners. By Tom Keegan

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Joel Embiid voted starter in NBA All-Star Game

The one thing that Bill Self never could lay claim to during his Kansas tenure was coaching an NBA All-Star. That changed today when Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid was voted to be a starter in this year’s NBA All-star game, Feb. 18 in the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The starters were announced on TNT’s NBA Tip-Off show.

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Tom Keegan: Svi coming off his best game in Kansas uniform, according to his coach

In years past, Svi Mykhailiuk wasn’t ready or asked to play a big role in carrying Kansas back from big, late deficits. He's doing it so well now that his coach paid him a monster compliment Thursday. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Jayhawks far more effective with Azubuike on the floor

Two different Kansas basketball teams took the floor at WVU Coliseum for a Big Monday thriller won by Kansas, 71-66, on a furious late comeback from a 16-point deficit. The Jayhawks who played when sophomore center Udoka Azubuike sat nursing foul trouble looked small, slight of build, no match for a shot-blocker freed to block the rim no matter who attacked it. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Players eligible all year keep Kansas in title hunt

the players who have hustled their way to a 4-1 Big 12 record and one-fourth share of first place haven’t quite received the plaudits they have earned. The perimeter players have adjusted impressively and center Udoka Azubuike, who showed great footwork in the post Saturday, is on the come.

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Tom Keegan: State's Big 12 college basketball coaches heading in opposite directions stay on course

Here’s what Bill Self and Bruce Weber have in common: They both served as head coach at Illinois and now lead Big 12 programs in the state of Kansas. Here’s how they are most different: Weber’s teams don't pull out close games often enough and Self’s almost always do. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Seniority brings out best in Svi

Svi Mykhailiuk doesn’t turn 21 until June 10, but as a college basketball player, everything about him screams senior. He’s playing with senior urgency, senior consistency and senior smarts.

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Tom Keegan: Devonte' Graham plays with irreplaceable energy

On a team packed with players who don’t typically exhibit a great deal of emotion, senior point guard Devonte’ Graham consistently plays with an unbridled verve. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Time for the real Malik Newman to stand up

Malik Newman could show up Tuesday night for Kansas and stick around for the rest of the season. As for what player has been wearing Newman’s No. 14 jersey for the first 15 games of the season, nobody knows. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Big 12 basketball race breaking into 3 tiers

Kansas coach Bill Self tried to tell himself and the world last week that it’s too early to be thinking about winning the conference, but by week's end even he couldn’t help himself.

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Tom Keegan: Backup Mitch Lightfoot saves Jayhawks at TCU

Mitch Lightfoot doesn’t always look as if he belongs playing minutes that matter for perennial national college basketball powerhouse Kansas. Against bigger bodies he sometimes looks too small, too weak. Too often he has the look of a playing-out-of-position backup center. And then there was Saturday night in Schollmaier Arena. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Kansas women's basketball program gets off the schneid

It took third-year Kansas women’s basketball coach Brandon Schneider 27 tries to win his first regular-season Big 12 game. It took him three tries to win two of them this season. That’s what progress looks like.

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Tom Keegan: It will take more than great coach to win loaded Big 12

Bill Self's the same coach he was in leading KU to consecutive conference title Nos. 1 through 13, but he has a more difficult job this time because his general manager hasn’t supplied him with as balanced and deep a roster as usual. In college sports, of course, the general manager is the coach.

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Tom Keegan: Stone-faced Red Raiders not typical visitors to fieldhouse

In 43 seconds midway through the second half Tuesday night, a 13-point Kansas deficit withered to six points. Pandemonium in the stands. Panic for the visitors was certain to follow. Surely, Kansas was in the midst of one of its wild second-half comebacks. Guess again. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Playoff selection committee Frost-bitten by UCF

Nothing shy of assigning a No. 1 ranking to UCF and recognizing it as co-national champion does justice to this season’s best story in college football. The Knights ought not be ranked second to anyone.

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Tom Keegan: Receiver Evan Fairs has football career pointing in right direction

Kansas wide receiver Evan Fairs came out of Fulshear High in Foster, Texas, with a two-star rating from Rivals. Halfway into his KU career, Fairs shapes up as the second-brightest potential star among the 14 high school players in KU’s recruiting Class of 2016, ranking behind only running back Khalil Herbert, a fellow two-star prospect. By Tom Keegan

Texas A&M announces hiring of KU assistant Laura "Bird" Kuhn as head volleyball coach

It’s official. Kansas volleyball associate head coach Laura “Bird” Kuhn is leaving Kansas to become head coach at Texas A&M, the SEC school announced today.

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Tom Keegan: Efficient Lagerald Vick soaring in every way

Lagerald Vick's lob finishes represent the loudest of so many ways that he demonstrates his high ceiling as a basketball player. So much of the rest of what he does flies under the radar, in part because of how efficiently he moves and shoots and how quickly he makes decisions.

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Tom Keegan: Jayhawks adjust appropriately to long arms of Longhorns freshman

Mohamed Bamba played his first Big 12 game Friday night at Frank Erwin Center against visiting Kansas and made it a memorable one for everyone in attendance. Kansas won the game, 92-86, on the strength of 3-point shooting, and Bamba kept the Longhorns in it, flirting with a triple-double. Bamba dominated the paint in the first half and finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocked shots. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Front-court additions needed to make Big 12 throne seem secure for Kansas

It’s tough to forecast KU’s chances of pushing its Big 12 title streak to 14 seasons until a final verdict arrives on potential front-line additions Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Blueprint used by military academies suits Kansas football

Triple-option teams can afford to play with smaller quarterbacks — they don’t have to see over the linemen if they’re running most of the time and on the run when passing — slot backs and linemen.

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Tom Keegan: Corione Harris signing, 2016 Texas upset David Beaty's two shining moments

One recruit does not a program change anymore than one victory, however thrilling, turned a losing program into a winning one.

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Tom Keegan: Sam 'I Am' Cunliffe makes memorable Allen Fieldhouse debut

Sam “I Am” Cunliffe gave the Allen Fieldhouse crowd thrills for the first time Monday night, but he already had gotten chills himself in college basketball’s most famous building. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Kansas takes more than a victory home from Nebraska

Lincoln, Neb. — Beating Nebraska in basketball by one point doesn’t look like much of a step forward on paper, but the way Kansas stopped its two-game losing streak spoke more to progress than the 73-72 margin.

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Tom Keegan: Mykhailiuk's game-winning three could lift him out of mini-slump

The basketball was in the air for a brief eternity, a moment that makes basketball fans age a year per second. Wide-open Kansas senior Svi Mykhailiuk, mired in a mini shooting slump, had launched it from deep in the left corner, right in front of the visitors' bench at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Devonte’ Graham had set him up with a well-timed pass. By Tom Keegan

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Tom Keegan: Malik Newman emerging from the haze of a concussion

“I was just looking at the paper the whole time. I mean, the words started looking like they were moving over the whole paper at the end. I’m sure I did well.” — Malik Newman talking about taking a final exam Monday, a day after he suffered a concussion in a loss to Arizona State at Allen Fieldhouse.

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