Kansas City, Mo. — Growing up with a father who played center at Oregon, Kansas senior big man Landen Lucas has seen a lot of Ducks games in his time.
The Portland, Ore., native said it will be strange to battle against a program he has long admired with a spot in the Final Four on the line Saturday night at Sprint Center.
“I mean, just seeing the Oregon colors and the O and everything that was such a big part of my childhood and growing up,” Lucas said, “and now to be going out there with so much on the line — my college career on the line, a Final Four on the line — against that team, it’s exciting for me and I’m sure that it’ll be exciting.”
Kansas senior center Landen Lucas said the Jayhawks were up to the challenge presented by a Michigan State team associated with its blue collar approach to basketball, under hall of fame coach Tom Izzo.
“We work hard, too,” Lucas said. “We get on the glass, and we like to be physical, too. I don’t think any team is gonna out-work us and that’s something that starts with me doing the small things and dirty work inside. I just try to come out and set the tone and I think we, as a team, did a pretty good job doing exactly what their game plan probably was to do to us, and that’s just get after it and do the little things, do the dirty work and do it well.”
The Jayhawks advanced to the Sweet 16 by defeating Michigan State, 90-70, at BOK Center, in Tulsa, Okla., a heated NCAA Tournament contest which came with some trash talk from the Spartans.
Landen Lucas describes how this year’s Kansas basketball team always remains confident, even though it has fallen behind by double digits on several occasions.
Lucas says the No. 1 seed Jayhawks benefit from having players like Josh Jackson and Frank Mason III, who can create their own shots. Plus, KU has “big-time shooters” that can score in the clutch, such as Devonte’ Graham.
The fifth-year senior center also shares what Kansas learned about Friday’s opponent, UC-Davis, by watching the Aggies in the First Four.
Kansas basketball players Frank Mason III, Landen Lucas, Svi Mykhailiuk and Carlton Bragg Jr. get into what went wrong for the Jayhawks in a Big 12 quarterfinal loss to TCU at Sprint Center, in Kansas City, Mo.
The KU players discuss the impact of playing without freshman star Josh Jackson, and Mykhailiuk shares the explanation he received following his foul in the final seconds, which led to TCU’s 85-82 upset.
Frank Mason III
“I’m really sad that I don’t have a chance to play here any more but I’ll definitely get back in town a lot. If I had the chance to play four more years here, I swear I would.”
“This is not really the last goodbye because we want to come back here with a national championship to celebrate.”
“Dad, you gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. I got to live out a dream and I’m so grateful for it.... It was an unbelievable experience. It was something coming in to it, that we thought we should have figured out, that we would have a player-coach relationship on the court and a father-son relationship off it, just to make sure that my teammates respected and me deserving to be there. The thing that I respect the most about you is that every player that comes here leaves a better person."
Bill Self kicks off the Senior Night festivities
“Devonte, wouldn’t it be special to come back next year and do a senior speech? And Josh, I can't imagine you could have more fun anywhere than to come back here for three more years."
Kansas senior center Landen Lucas discusses the impact of Josh Jackson and Carlton Bragg in the Jayhawks’ Big Monday victory at Kansas State.