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Kansas in Korea

Staying healthy in Korea

I think I was already sick before I got on the plane to Korea. But certainly, the day we landed in Gwangju, Korea, I was not feeling well. I had these feverish spells that would just stop me in my tracks, bring on weird feverish dreams and drop me on the spot. Then hours would pass and everything was fine. I could even still do all my work. But being a little off in your health, in a new country and with jet-lag, wasn't the best way to start the trip. Fortunately, I've been fine since day two here and have no lingering health issues.

Before the trip, my wife had threatened to call the newspaper and hide my passport to keep me from flying to Korea. An outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) showed up in Seoul on May 20. She was more than a little concerned. The distance from Seoul to Gwangju is 166 miles, the same as from Lawrence to Wichita. So you can imagine how people in Gwangju are more than a little concerned about the outbreak. To date, the death toll is at 33 while 186 people have been diagnosed with MERS, most of this occurring around Seoul.

When we landed, Bobby and I noticed quite a few people in the Seoul airport wearing face masks. We've continued to see some of this in Gwangju, though sometimes this may be just general concern about the city air quality or allergies. Gwangju doesn't look like it's that polluted, but with 3 million people it probably has its fair share of pollutants in the air. But according to a thing called the Air Quality Index (AQI), Gwangju on Sunday, July 5 had a "good" score of 46 while a similar-sized city like Chicago had an unhealthy rating of 143.

Whether the general population here favors masks to avoid environmental issues or MERS, area hospitals are not messing around with the syndrome. At a Gwangju hospital just around the corner from our hotel, staff are positioned at all entrance doors to take temperatures and screen everyone entering.

Hospital staff guard entrances at a local hospital to monitor for MERS.

Hospital staff guard entrances at a local hospital to monitor for MERS. by Mike Yoder

On our way to a neighborhood cafe, we encountered a vehicle pumping out a spray of thick, white fog. It looked like exhaust from a large steam engine train or a KISS concert fog machine. We had no way to avoid the drift and we walked right through. We're still not sure what it is — I've witnessed it in two locations — but I've asked a couple people and they use words like "to clean the air," etc. My first thought was that it might be some kind of city fumigation to battle MERS, but people have told me it has nothing to do with MERS. After doing some Google research, I think it's most likely a city insect control program. I only wish I would have been wearing a mask of my own when I walked into this.

Today, Bobby noticed that at the spectator entrance to Dongkang Gym, where Team USA is playing most of their games, there is a security gate that not only detects metal but also reads your temperature. They are being very vigilant and cautious here in Gwangju.

Spectator security gates into venues also monitor people's temperatures.

Spectator security gates into venues also monitor people's temperatures. by Mike Yoder

World University Games staff monitors the spectator security gate for people with high temperatures.

World University Games staff monitors the spectator security gate for people with high temperatures. by Mike Yoder

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Eating on the run in South Korea or, “Do you have anything with protein?”

When you’re a member of the media covering large events, spread out over many days, you can never depend on getting 3 square meals a day. The game times, deadlines and the transportation to and from events all work against having a leisurely sit-down dinner.

Sports reporter Bobby Nightengale and I have had this problem since day one in Gwangju. July 3, the day of the opening ceremony, is good example of the ups and down of food access. Bobby and I start each day with a complimentary breakfast at our hotel, which includes a fairly large traditional American breakfast as well as a Korean breakfast featuring a beef rib soup option.

On July 3rd, after breakfast, I walked 20-minutes to the World University Games main media center to pick up my ticket for the nights Opening Ceremony. I also rented a locker to store my computer and inquired about some other transportation issues. After doing all that it was nearing lunch time and since Bobby and I needed to catch a shuttle bus at 1pm to make a Team USA basketball practice, I went in search of something to eat in the media lounge where they had drinks and a variety of snacks.

It appears Koreans love their sweet snacks as much as Americans. They were plentiful, but the snacks were all heavy on sugar content. I did spot one item described as a “soft mositured cake’ and I recall the label may have mentioned cheese, so I grabbed one hoping it might provide me some protein. I unwrapped and began eating the cake but it tasted like paper. It was paper actually. The sweet cake was so perfectly wrapped in tissue that it had formed an invisible bond around the cake. Removing the paper improved the taste but it was still basically a sponge cake full of sugar.

Next I picked up a slim wrapped package that looked like cheese and I pulled back the wrapper to reveal a firm yellow food. I inquired of a volunteer, “This is cheese right?” “No, it’s sausage.” “Really?” “Yes, but not real sausage. Try it.”

I’m pretty picky about sausage, even when it’s real. Maybe that begs the question, “What is real sausage?” I decided to pass on the “not real” sausage.

I was told this this wrapped package was sausage, not cheese. "But not real sausage."

I was told this this wrapped package was sausage, not cheese. "But not real sausage." by Mike Yoder

They also had a wonderful selection of hot and cold drinks, teas and coffee etc. Thinking I may have to rely on a nutritious drink to tide me over I grabbed a fancy looking bootle of tea. Everything on the label was in Korean except for three words “Barley Bud Tea”. I don’t know what nutrients the drink contained but it had a rather pleasant taste of….barley. I can’t really describe it. But I did like it’s unsweetened and natural flavor. If Kansas was a drink it might be barley bud tea. Kind of rural, earthy, pleasant and it grows on you.

Barley Bud Tea

Barley Bud Tea by Mike Yoder

I grabbed another drink to take with me. It was a refreshing mix of vinegar and cider. It was sort of like hard cider but it really had a stronger vinegar flavor. Unusual, but again, tasty and refreshing.

Soon a woman came over - she must have noticed my early signs of protein crash - and pointed me toward another door. I had hit the food jackpot. In the adjacent room was the equivalent of a bomb shelter food pantry. Racks and stacks of pre-packaged noodles, rices and soups alongside two large stainless steel canisters of hot water. Pictures on the packages helped tell me what was inside but volunteers helped translate the contents. I went with a box of rice with concentrated, powdered fish broth. I microwaved the rice for 2-minutes, dumped the fish and spices into the bowl, added hot water and had a really nice meal.

Fish and rice soup.

Fish and rice soup. by Mike Yoder

Between 1-2:30 p.m. Bobby and I covered an outdoor Team USA team practice and then I left to catch a taxi to make a 3 p.m. photographer’s meeting at Gwangju’s Main Stadium, the site of the World University Games Opening Ceremony. At the meeting we were given instructions on the evenings event and provided our photography positions for the night. After being escorted to our 2nd-level seats, I realized I still had 3 1/2 hours before showtime.

Photographers gather to get their photo vests and find out their shooting position in the stadium for the opening ceremony.

Photographers gather to get their photo vests and find out their shooting position in the stadium for the opening ceremony. by Mike Yoder

The press media lounge at the stadium also had snacks, but most were of the sweet variety. I did score a plastic bag that contained 2 bananas - a real steal. Elsewhere in the stadium, no concession stands were open except one small food court offering chips, including the popular Pringles brand, more sweet cakes and chocolates, teas and soft drinks. I took out my iPhone, opened my iTranslate app and typed in 'protein' and showed it do the vendor hoping she might understand what I wanted.

As I held my phone for her to read, I spotted a small container on a high shelf that would be my salvation for the night. It was a can of honey coated almonds that would have to last me until midnight. Actually, they didn't last me until the start of the opening of the ceremonies. I was sitting between a U.S. press photographer from Michigan and two reporters from Venezuela. They were all in the same situation. So the small can of almonds passed back and forth between countries until the were all gone.

Can of almonds against backdrop of Gwangju Main Stadium, site of the opening ceremonies of the 2015 World University Games.

Can of almonds against backdrop of Gwangju Main Stadium, site of the opening ceremonies of the 2015 World University Games. by Mike Yoder

After that it was all fireworks and singing.

I assure you that there are also good days. Just last night Bobby and I had a break of about an hour between some work and we were directed into a local neighborhood on a side street with several small food shops. We were pointed into one place where we took off our shoes, sat down on the floor of a medium-sized living room space and ordered selection of Korean dishes with rice and a large pot of stew. We're pretty sure the cafe was also the family house. The meal was great and between the hot spices of the soup and the diverse flavors of the many side dishes - banchan, our sinuses were cleared out and our stomachs were filled.

Journal-World sports reporter Bobby Nightengale in a Korean neighborhood cafe.

Journal-World sports reporter Bobby Nightengale in a Korean neighborhood cafe. by Mike Yoder

Reply 2 comments from Gary Bedore Dale Rogers

The Day After: USA rallies to beat Turkey

Kansas guard Frank Mason III, (0) passes out from beneath the basket in a Team USA 66-57 win against Turkey Saturday, July 4, in Gwangju, South Korea.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III, (0) passes out from beneath the basket in a Team USA 66-57 win against Turkey Saturday, July 4, in Gwangju, South Korea. by Mike Yoder

It wasn't pretty, but Team USA found ways to win in its World University Game opener on Saturday, defeating Turkey, 66-57, at DongKang College Gymasium.

Turkey went on an 18-2 run midway through the first quarter, drilling seven straight shots for an 18-7 lead.

Afterward, it was all Jayhawks, as they ramped up the intensity on defense and Turkey never regained its offensive momentum.

USA was led by KU junior guard Wayne Selden Jr., who scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Senior forward Perry Ellis added 17 points and six boards, while Frank Mason III chipped in with 12 points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals.

SMU senior guard Nic Moore was the only other player with more than two points. He finished with nine points on 3 of 9 shooting to go along with three steals and two assists.

Quick takeaway

The Jayhawks had some good moments, especially defensively in the second half, and some not so good moments, when they struggled to shoot the ball. Turkey was an older team, but the Jayhawks showed their maturity by not panicking when they fell into a big hole in the first quarter and quickly climbed their way back. The opponents won't get any easier in this tournament, but it was a good sign for team USA that it found a way to win when a few players had off nights.

Three reasons to smile

1 – After falling into an 11-point deficit in the first quarter, the Jayhawks stepped up defensively to get back into the game. Turkey finished with 20 turnovers, including 12 in the second and third quarters when the Jayhawks went on a few runs to take the lead. USA's top guards (Mason, Selden, Moore) provided strong pressure on the perimeter and the Jayhawks played well in the low post with the FIBA referees allowing a little more contact than what would be called in an NCAA game.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) is fouled in a Team USA game against Turkey Saturday, July 4, in Gwangju, South Korea.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) is fouled in a Team USA game against Turkey Saturday, July 4, in Gwangju, South Korea. by Mike Yoder

2 – If the Jayhawks are going to do well in the tournament, they are going to need big performances from their top players. Selden and Ellis did that on Saturday. Selden was in attack mode for most of the game, driving to the rim and he finished through contact on his way to 19 points. He looks in his comfort zone with two point guards on the court (Mason and Moore) and had no problems crashing the glass (nine rebounds). Ellis put up 17 points (11 in the first half) on 8 of 18 shooting. He said he was comfortable on the court and he looked the part.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis puts up a shoot over Turkey defenders in a Team USA 66-57 win against Turkey Saturday, July 4, in Gwangju, South Korea..

Kansas forward Perry Ellis puts up a shoot over Turkey defenders in a Team USA 66-57 win against Turkey Saturday, July 4, in Gwangju, South Korea.. by Mike Yoder

3 – On an off night, the Jayhawks found a way to win. KU doesn't have its full complement of players, missing likely key contributors this winter with Cheick Diallo, Devonté Graham, Brannen Greene and Svi Mykhailiuk out. But even without all of those guys, the Jayhawks showed poise after falling into that first quarter hole to come back and win.

Three reasons to sigh

1 – USA was sloppy in the fourth quarter on offense and kept Turkey around with only five points in the first five minutes of the final quarter. With a chance to put the game out of hand, the Jayhawks shot 5-for-20 (25 percent) in the fourth quarter and had five turnovers. They had some problems against Turkey's zone defense. Against the top teams, the Jayhawks will have to close the door better.

"We didn’t do a very good job against it," KU coach Bill Self said of the zone defense. "We haven’t practiced against a ton of zone. But we know what to do better now. That’s the way it works with a lot of teams. The best time to go zone a lot of times is when teams are trying to nurse a lead. Then they’re not aggressive, they don’t look to shoot the ball, the clock gets shorter and they end up going one-on-one trying to make the play. We’ll handle the zone better. I’m pretty confident about that."

Kansas guard Nic Moore (3) defends against Turkey guard Tugberk Gedikli (10) in a Team USA 66-57 win against Turkey Saturday, July 4, in Gwangju, South Korea..

Kansas guard Nic Moore (3) defends against Turkey guard Tugberk Gedikli (10) in a Team USA 66-57 win against Turkey Saturday, July 4, in Gwangju, South Korea.. by Mike Yoder

2 – The Jayhawks had trouble protecting the ball, committing 16 turnovers. Quite a few of those turnovers were just careless mistakes with the ball. On possession that wasn't a turnover in the fourth quarter, the Jayhawks had a 3-on-1 fast-break and didn't walk away with any points. If they struggle to shoot on the tight rims, they will have to limit their turnovers.

Kansas freshman forward Carlton Bragg warms up wearing a mask to protect his broken nose during Team USA warm ups at Dongkang College Gymnasium.  The team was preparing for a game against Turkey Saturday, July 4 in Gwangju, South Korea.

Kansas freshman forward Carlton Bragg warms up wearing a mask to protect his broken nose during Team USA warm ups at Dongkang College Gymnasium. The team was preparing for a game against Turkey Saturday, July 4 in Gwangju, South Korea. by Mike Yoder

3 – USA needs to get more production out of its bench. Self doesn't want to play his top three guards for 30-plus minutes each game. Mason (35:40), Selden (37:49) and Moore (30:34), and Ellis (28:40) all probably played more than Self was hoping. But the bench just didn't produce enough when those guys were on the court.

Vick went scoreless (0-of-3 shooting) in eight minutes, Florida Gulf Coast senior guard Julian DeBose had two points and two steals in seven minutes, KU freshman Carlton Bragg had one point and six rebounds in 10 minutes, junior Landen Lucas had two points and four rebounds in 15 minutes and Mickelson added two points and one block in eight minutes.

“I thought our bench productivity-wise wasn’t great,” Self said. “But I though that (DeBose) gave us good minutes. I thought Lagerald did OK. I thought Carlton did OK. Every team needs guys off the bench to come in and make your starters better. I thought we did a decent job of buying time and that stuff.

“When we are so thin like we are, we’ve got to have our bench also produce. We didn’t put up numbers or rebounds really off the bench position.”

Next up

The Jayhawks will face Brazil at 8:30 p.m. today at DongKang College Gymnasium (6:30 a.m. CDT). Brazil (1-0) smoked Chile in its opener with a 78-33 victory. It outrebounded Chile, 54-20, and scored 48 points in the paint. Brazil was led by 6-5 Gemerson Silva (14 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals), 6-10 Lucas Dias (12 points, 7 rebounds) and Gerson Do Espirito Santo (10 points, 7 rebounds).

The game will be broadcasted on ESPNU with Danny Lee (play-by-play) and Kevin Lehman (color analyst). We will have a live blog, just like any regular season game, right here on KUsports.com.

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Comparing rules of NCAA and FIBA

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor (31) delivers a tomahawk dunk over members of Team Canada during the third quarter of Friday's World University Games exhibition at Sprint Center.

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor (31) delivers a tomahawk dunk over members of Team Canada during the third quarter of Friday's World University Games exhibition at Sprint Center. by Nick Krug

If you caught either of Kansas basketball’s Team USA exhibitions against Canada at Sprint Center, you’re already a little familiar with some of the differences between the rules of college basketball and international play.

Now that the World University Games are here — KU opens pool play versus Turkey at 10 p.m. Friday night on ESPNU — a rundown of all the differences and similarities seems in order.

DURATION OF GAME

NCAA: Two 20-minute halves | FIBA: Four 10-minute quarters

SHOT CLOCK

NCAA: 35 seconds | FIBA: 24 seconds

SHOT CLOCK RESET

NCAA: FG attempt hits rim | FIBA: Resets to 14 seconds when FGA hits rim and offensive rebound is secured

OVERTIME DURATION

NCAA: 5 minutes | FIBA: 5 minutes

LENGTH OF HALFTIME

NCAA: 15 minutes | FIBA: 15 minutes

COURT LENGTH

NCAA: 94 feet x 50 feet | FIBA: 91-10 x 49-2.5

SIZE OF LANE

NCAA: 12 feet x 19 feet | FIBA: 16 x 19

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) signals the bench and crowd after hitting a three-point basket near the end of a 91-83 Team USA exhibition game win against Canada Tuesday, June 23, at the Sprint Center in K.C., MO.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) signals the bench and crowd after hitting a three-point basket near the end of a 91-83 Team USA exhibition game win against Canada Tuesday, June 23, at the Sprint Center in K.C., MO. by Mike Yoder

3-POINT DISTANCE

NCAA: 20 feet-9 inches | FIBA: 22-1.75

NO-CHARGE SEMICIRCLE

NCAA: 0.914 meters from center of basket | FIBA: 1.25 meters from center

ADVANCE BALL TO HALFCOURT AT TIMEOUT

NCAA: Not allowed | FIBA: Allowed in final 2 minutes of fourth quarter and OT

BACKCOURT VIOLATION

NCAA: 10 seconds | FIBA: 8 seconds

GAME CLOCK STOPS AFTER FG

NCAA: Last minute of second half and last minute of OT | FIBA: Last 2 minutes of fourth quarter and OT

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) gets a foul called on him going for a steal against Canada forward Tommy Nixon (14) in the first-half of a Team USA exhibition game against Canada Tuesday, June 23, at the Sprint Center in K.C., MO.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) gets a foul called on him going for a steal against Canada forward Tommy Nixon (14) in the first-half of a Team USA exhibition game against Canada Tuesday, June 23, at the Sprint Center in K.C., MO. by Mike Yoder

PLAYER FOUL LIMIT

NCAA: Five | FIBA: Five (or two technical fouls)

BONUS FREE THROWS

NCAA: On seventh foul of half (1-and-1); 10th foul (2 FTAs) | FIBA: On fifth foul of quarter (2 FTAs); fourth quarter carries into OT

NUMBER OF PLAYERS PERMITTED ON FREE THROW LANE

NCAA: Six (four defensive, two offensive) | FIBA: Five (three offensive, two defensive)

JUMP BALL

NCAA: Alternating possession after tip-off | FIBA: Alternating possession after tip-off

PLAYERS CAN TOUCH BALL ABOVE CYLINDER

NCAA: Nope | FIBA: You betcha

FLOPPING RULE

NCAA: Doesn’t have one | FIBA: Warning on the first flop; technical on the next flop

TIMEOUTS

NCAA: Four 75-second timeouts, two 30-seconds | FIBA: 2 60-second timeouts in first and second quarters, three 60-second timeouts in third and fourth quarters; maximum of two timeouts in final 2 minutes of a game

TV TIMEOUTS

NCAA: Four per half | FIBA: Up to one per quarter

OVERTIME TIMEOUTS

NCAA: One additional 75-second timeout and any unused from regulation | FIBA: One additional 60-second timeout

WHO CALLS TIMEOUTS

NCAA: Head coach or player on floor | FIBA: Head coach or assistant coach

Kansas guard LaGerald Vick (2) and forward Hunter Mickelson (42) fight for a rebound in the paint with members of Team Canada during the third quarter of Friday's World University Games exhibition at Sprint Center.

Kansas guard LaGerald Vick (2) and forward Hunter Mickelson (42) fight for a rebound in the paint with members of Team Canada during the third quarter of Friday's World University Games exhibition at Sprint Center. by Nick Krug

SIZE OF BASKETBALL

NCAA: Max circumference of 30 inches / minimum circumference 29.5; max weight 20 ounces / minimum weight 17.99 oz. | FIBA: Max circumference 29 inches; max weight 20 ounces / minimum weight 17.99 oz.

LEGAL JERSEY NUMBERS

NCAA: 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, numbers ending in 1-5 up to No. 55 | FIBA: All numbers, 00 (or 0) through 99

Reply 1 comment from Texashawk10_2

Jayhawks savor Team USA appearance at opening ceremonies

When Turkey arrives for its game in a few hours, the opponents' uniforms will say Kansas.

On Friday night in Gwangju Universiade Stadium, the Jayhawks were simply Team USA.

USA Team athletes, including the Kansas Jayhawks', representing Team USA basketball, enter Gwangju Universiade Main Stadium during the opening ceremony of the 28th World University Games July 3 in Gwangju, South Korea.

USA Team athletes, including the Kansas Jayhawks', representing Team USA basketball, enter Gwangju Universiade Main Stadium during the opening ceremony of the 28th World University Games July 3 in Gwangju, South Korea. by Mike Yoder

The spotlight hits members of the Team USA basketball team enter Gwangju Universiade Main Stadium during the opening ceremony of the 28th World University Games July 3 in Gwangju, South Korea.

The spotlight hits members of the Team USA basketball team enter Gwangju Universiade Main Stadium during the opening ceremony of the 28th World University Games July 3 in Gwangju, South Korea. by Mike Yoder

The KU basketball team joined more than 10,000 other athletes and nearly 50,000 spectators for the opening ceremonies of the World University Games.

The Jayhawks couldn't stick around for the entire show — their first game begins at noon Saturday (10 p.m. Friday CDT) — but they raved about the experience on social media.

None by Devonte' Graham

None by Jamari Traylor

None by Landen A. Lucas

None by 1

None by Evan Manning

💲Priceless💲

A post shared by Devonte' Graham (@dtaegraham) on

💲Priceless💲 by dtaegraham

A moment we'll never forget. #KUinKorea

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A moment we'll never forget. #KUinKorea by kuhoops

KU forward Landen Lucas gave play-by-play as the team walked to and through the ceremony.

#KUinKorea #USA

A post shared by KU in Maui (@kuinmaui) on

#KUinKorea #USA by kuinmaui

Opening ceremonies #KUinKorea

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Opening ceremonies #KUinKorea by kuinmaui

The walk in

A post shared by KU in Maui (@kuinmaui) on

The walk in by kuinmaui

#KUinKorea

A post shared by KU in Maui (@kuinmaui) on

#KUinKorea by kuinmaui

#KUinKorea

A post shared by KU in Maui (@kuinmaui) on

#KUinKorea by kuinmaui

#KUinKorea

A post shared by KU in Maui (@kuinmaui) on

#KUinKorea by kuinmaui

#KUinKorea

A post shared by KU in Maui (@kuinmaui) on

#KUinKorea by kuinmaui

Check out more photos from the ceremonies from Journal-World photographer Mike Yoder.

And check back to KUsports.com for full coverage of USA v. Turkey, tonight at 10 p.m. CDT. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

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The Day After: USA wins big in scrimmage against China

Team USA and China take a group photograph together after a Team USA 93-56 scrimmage game win over China Thursday, July 2.

Team USA and China take a group photograph together after a Team USA 93-56 scrimmage game win over China Thursday, July 2. by Mike Yoder

Team USA shined in its final tune-up before the World University Games opener, out-running and out-hustling China for a 93-56 victory in a scrimmage on Thursday at Seolwol Girls' High.

I'm stealing a page out of fellow KUsports.com writer Matt Tait's playbook with "The Day After" blog. Just a quick way to digest some positives and negatives from each game in Korea.

China had a size advantage over the Jayhawks but it wasn't a factor because of KU's speed. By the time the second half rolled around, China would turn the ball over at mid-court or behind its three-point line, leading to easy buckets for the Jayhawks.

KU had eight players finish with at least nine points. Freshman Lagerald Vick led with 13 points (6-of-13). He played in the final minutes of the fourth quarter with the score getting out of hand and made his last four shots.

Hunter Mickelson (12), Jamari Traylor (12), Perry Ellis (11), Wayne Selden (11), Landen Lucas (10) and Nic Moore (9) were the other players with at least nine points. Frank Mason was the only starter who didn't pile on the points (Tyler Self had 2 points and Evan Manning didn't score). Mason had five assists, but just two points on 1-of-6 shooting. KU coach Bill Self said Mason told him beforehand "he still doesn’t have his legs under him yet." Most of the team is still dealing a little bit with jet lag, but everyone says they'll be ready to go by Saturday.

The Jayhawks open their tournament against Turkey at noon Saturday (10 p.m. Friday CDT). Not much is known about Turkey, but Lucas did mention that he heard it was a physical team.

Quick takeaway

The Jayhawks are still working to get their bodies back to normal after the big time change, but they used their speed to get easy baskets in transition against China. The first quarter was back and forth with the Jayhawks missing some shots in half court sets and some shots around the rim, but it was all KU afterward. The big thing was everyone contributed and each player had some positive moments. Will this momentum carry over to Turkey in the tournament opener? That remains to be seen.

Three reasons to smile

1 – The Jayhawks want to get out and run in the open floor, and they took full advantage of that on Thursday. No official stats were kept but the Jayhawks scored a ton of fast-break points. Mason, Selden and Moore are strong at leading the break and setting up their teammates for easy scores.

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor looks to pass from beneath the basket during a Team USA and China scrimmage Thursday, July 2.

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor looks to pass from beneath the basket during a Team USA and China scrimmage Thursday, July 2. by Mike Yoder

2 – Despite no referees and a little extra contact inside the paint, KU's forwards didn't have many problems finishing at the rim. All of the forwards (Lucas, Ellis, Mickelson and Traylor) ran the floor well on Thursday and converted a number of dunks. But they also had some strong post-ups in the paint and adjusted to the contact after the first quarter to finish inside. On defense, they played well in the second half after China's forwards began to tire and didn't have the legs to score in the paint.

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick, right, leaps for a block in a Team USA 93-56 scrimmage game win over China Thursday, July 2.

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick, right, leaps for a block in a Team USA 93-56 scrimmage game win over China Thursday, July 2. by Mike Yoder

3 – The Jayhawks shared the ball well, leading to eight players finishing with nine or more points KU did a good job of finding the hot hand when necessary and found the extra man in transition. I had the Jayhawks down for 20 assists on their 43 made baskets, with at least two from Mason, Selden, Moore, Ellis, Vick and Traylor.

Three reasons to sigh

1 – The on-ball defense by KU guards still isn't where it needs to be. There's still a few moments where opposing guards are able to drive into the middle of the defense and make plays. With Mason and Selden playing 32+ minutes in the final exhibition game against Canada, and 28 minutes from Moore, the Jayhawks are going to need to rely on Vick and DeBose for some quality minutes.

"Against really good guards, you can’t go out and attack the ball like that, they’ll go right around you," Self said. "They did fine. At times, we can be pretty good defensively. But we don’t really have a low-post presence in there to block shots or alter so we need to do a better job of keeping the ball in front of them on the perimeter so we don’t break down as much."

"Julian is going to be fine," Self added. "He’s a good athlete, but he needs to be a good defensive player for us and a good rebounder. Just give us good minutes. We’re not very deep at guard at all so we need him and Legerald to give us some good minutes. We can’t play those three guys 35 minutes every game. So they need to step up and play better."

Kansas center Hunter Mickelson blocks a shot in a Team USA 93-56 scrimmage game win over China Thursday, July 2.

Kansas center Hunter Mickelson blocks a shot in a Team USA 93-56 scrimmage game win over China Thursday, July 2. by Mike Yoder

2 – Not sure if the ball feels different, but the Jayhawks haven't shot well from behind the three-point line in their exhibition games. Against Canada in two games last week at Sprint Center, KU shot a combined 10-for-38 (26 percent). It was a little better against China, 7-for-20 (35 percent), but the three-ball hasn't been a reliable weapon. That's also a product of not having Brannen Greene or Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk on the court.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. jumps to block a shot in a Team USA 93-56 scrimmage game win over China Thursday, July 2.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. jumps to block a shot in a Team USA 93-56 scrimmage game win over China Thursday, July 2. by Mike Yoder

3 – China didn't give KU the best look before the games begin. Self said the Jayhawks are still working on getting their conditioning up, but they ran past China throughout the scrimmage. There were a few plays where China didn't really rush back on defense. At the 2013 World University Games, China went 1-4 in pool-play and finished in 22nd place.

Next up

The Jayhawks will open pool-play against Turkey at noon on Saturday at DongKang College Gymnasium (10 p.m. Friday CDT). It's a nice place, built in 1998, holding 2,924 seats. It will be broadcasted on ESPNU with Danny Lee (play-by-play) and Kevin Lehman (color analyst). We will have a live blog, just like any regular season game, right here on KUsports.com.

None by Bobby Nightengale

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Korean pastels

My photography checklist for traveling to Korea includes 2 camera bodies, 3 lenses, a laptop, iPhone, a padded floor seat, a pocket point-and-shoot camera and memory cards, including an EyeFi Mobi Pro SD memory card. What I forgot to pack were photographer’s clothes of a pastel color. What? Here’s the photographer’s dress code from the Universiade Gwangju 2015 official guidebook. “Accredited photographers must wear clothes of pastel colors. Bright-colored prints and large logos on clothing are not permitted unless it is covered by the photographer’s vest.”

I don’t recall getting this memo so I’ll have to make do with faded jeans and a light blue shirt. This will be the first time I’ve been scrutinized by the fashion police. Sports reporter Bobby Nightengale and I did get denied entrance at one security gate, but that was not because I was wearing black rather than soft baby blue. We were just at the wrong entrance.

If you watch the games on TV, I may be the rogue photographer in inappropriate clothes. Hopefully the supplied media photo vest will cover up any fashion faux pas. Heck, if I had known about the vest I would have brought a cummerbund and bow tie to complete my fashionable photographer’s outfit. 

The newest piece of gear in the list above is the EyeFi Mobi Pro SD card. It works like a regular 32GB memory card in your camera. What makes this card special is that it enables you to make a WiFi connection between your camera and a nearby iPhone, laptop or other mobile device. After setting up the password and WiFi connection between the two devices, each photo taken will automatically upload and appear on your mobile device. This has been extremely helpful in my coverage here. I can be shooting a KU practice or activity with my better professional equipment and download the images almost instantly to my iPhone or iPad. From there it’s a quick Tweet or an email away from transmitting the higher quality file to social media sites or the newsroom to immediately post to the web. On arrival in the Seoul airport, I spotted about 8 young female paparazzi running ahead of a famous Korean music star. As the star had left the building, all the photographers sat in the waiting area next to me quickly transmitting their photos from their cameras to their phones and then Tweeting out their star shots. They looked like real pros who had been using EyeFi cards for years. 

Getting around Gwangju to cover the events is fairly easy. Shuttle buses transport media to central locations and then we walk or taxi to others. Buses here are pretty stylish and comfy. Taxis on the other hand are a crazy ride. Very aggressive drivers and switching lanes and speeding are a norm. Small mopeds and motorcycles zip in and out of traffic and seem to ignore and signals. Bobby saw one moped rider try to maneuver around a car in the rain and ended up wrecking.

Food has been really good but we don't always know what we're ordering and eating. Many menus are Korean only as are the waiters and chefs. I saw a lady behind counter rolling out what I thought was a sushi roll and we ordered that. What we got were several fried seaweed wraps stuffed with noodles, veggies and some other ingredients. It came with a hot and spicy bowl of onion and spice sauce and a plate full of beautiful, fresh greens to wrap around the fried rolls. Bobby and I filled up on 2 orders and it cost about $7 U.S.

Dish from a Korean BBQ cafe.

Dish from a Korean BBQ cafe. by Mike Yoder

We've been amazed at the security presence around the facilities. Even the Gwangju police can be rather intimidating. Bobby thought these guys might fire a warning shot over my head as I asked them for a photo. Nearby was a military-style SWAT tank. They are prepared!

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Behind the scenes with the Jayhawks in South Korea

After 28 hours of travel, between practices and before games, the Kansas basketball team is making time for some well-deserved R&R in South Korea.

And thanks to social media, we can follow along:

#KUinKorea

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#KUinKorea by kuinmaui

The "KU in Korea" Instagram account is full of great behind-the-scenes moments: food, dancing, sightseeing, more dancing ... check it out:

#KUinKorea @fmason0

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#KUinKorea @fmason0 by kuinmaui

Uruguay turnin up with the police 🚔 lol #KUinKorea

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Uruguay turnin up with the police 🚔 lol #KUinKorea by kuinmaui

Ringing the freedom bell downtown #KUinKorea

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Ringing the freedom bell downtown #KUinKorea by kuinmaui

Walking the streets of Gwangju #KUinKorea

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Walking the streets of Gwangju #KUinKorea by kuinmaui

😂😂 messin around downtown #KUinKorea

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😂😂 messin around downtown #KUinKorea by kuinmaui

Pt. 2 #KUinKorea

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Pt. 2 #KUinKorea by kuinmaui


Check out the official KUHoops Instagram account, player Twitter accounts and Snapchat accounts for more.

USA head coach and his Jayhawks take it all in. #KUinKorea

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USA head coach and his Jayhawks take it all in. #KUinKorea by kuhoops

Good morning from Gwangju. #KUinKorea

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Good morning from Gwangju. #KUinKorea by kuhoops


Be sure to check back to KUsports.com for exclusive content from reporter Bobby Nightengale and photographer Mike Yoder.

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Team USA receives warm welcome in first practice

It was quite the scene on Tuesday night when Kansas University men's basketball players took the court for their first practice in Korea and were surrounded by hundreds of students from Gwangju High School.

The Jayhawks practiced on the local court and the students watched from the stands, cheering on nearly every made basket, going wild on dunks, and even applauding Frank Mason III's ball handling.

None by Bobby Nightengale

Before the Jayhawks took the court for the beginning of practice, coach Bill Self shot around and after missing his first few shots, he went on a little run of made baskets, much to the delight of the hometown crowd.

Most students left about 20 minutes into the practice, which started at 7 p.m. local time, but the ones that stayed were rewarded with selfies with any of the Team USA player they could stop.

None by Mike Yoder

Students weren't the only ones who wanted to catch a glimpse of the Jayhawks. The shuttle driver for photographer Mike Yoder and myself asked me who the best players were so he could take pictures with his camera. A local Korean TV station also showed up, interviewing some of the students and capturing video of the practice.

Near the end of practice, security guards went into the upper deck to watch Team USA, giving hearty applauses when Wayne Selden Jr. and Mason drove past defenders for reverse layups.

The next practice is at 10 a.m. tomorrow, but alas, students will be in school and likely unable to attend.

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ESPNU to televise KU basketball at World University Games

Night owls and early risers, rejoice.

Fans in the United States will be able to watch the Kansas men's basketball team on ESPNU during this week's World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea.

The 14-hour time difference from Korea to Kansas means that the Jayhawks' first pool play game will air Friday at 10 p.m. CDT.

Other games may begin as late as 1 a.m. or as early as 4 a.m., but all will be on an ESPN network and available through the WatchESPN app, ESPN announced Monday.

KUsports.com's Bobby Nightengale and Mike Yoder are with the team in Korea and will also bring you live coverage from the court during the games.

None by Mike Yoder


Full schedule (all times CDT):

Friday, July 3 — 10 p.m. — Team USA vs. Turkey

Sunday, July 5 — 6:30 a.m. — Brazil vs. Team USA

Tuesday, July 7 — 10 p.m. — Team USA vs. Serbia

Wednesday, July 8 — 8 p.m. — Team USA vs. Switzerland

Saturday, July 11 — 12:30 a.m. — Quarterfinal

Sunday, July 12 — 1 a.m. — Semifinal (Option 1)

Sunday, July 12 — 4 a.m. — Semifinal (Option 2)

Monday, July 13 — 6:30 a.m. — Gold Medal Game

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