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Thursday observations from San Antonio as KU prepares for Richmond

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5:07 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Before signing off, here's a video from Mike Yoder, who caught Marcus Morris telling the Richmond players to be ready for Friday's game.

Be sure to check back to KUsports.com on Friday for all the gameday coverage of KU-Richmond in the Sweet 16.

3:56 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Here are some of my favorite Nick Krug photos from today. The full gallery also is now available.

Kansas head coach Bill Self, Marcus Morris and the rest of the Jayhawks come together in a huddle during a day of practices and press conferences at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Thursday, March 24, 2011.

Kansas head coach Bill Self, Marcus Morris and the rest of the Jayhawks come together in a huddle during a day of practices and press conferences at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Thursday, March 24, 2011. by Nick Krug

The Kansas Jayhawks run through an open practice on Thursday, March 24, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

The Kansas Jayhawks run through an open practice on Thursday, March 24, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. by Nick Krug

Kansas forward Marcus Morris works through a drill with his teammates during a day of practices and press conferences at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Thursday, March 24, 2011.

Kansas forward Marcus Morris works through a drill with his teammates during a day of practices and press conferences at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Thursday, March 24, 2011. by Nick Krug

Kansas’ Mario Little, left, and Elijah Johnson swap condiments as they eat lunch in the team locker room during a break in the at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Thursday, March 24, 2011.

Kansas’ Mario Little, left, and Elijah Johnson swap condiments as they eat lunch in the team locker room during a break in the at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Thursday, March 24, 2011. by Nick Krug

Kansas guard Brady Morningstar sits for an TV interview during a day of practices and press conferences at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Thursday, March 24, 2011.

Kansas guard Brady Morningstar sits for an TV interview during a day of practices and press conferences at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Thursday, March 24, 2011. by Nick Krug

3:37 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

The Richmond players were talking today about how they sat down as a team earlier this week to watch the Spiders' 69-68 victory over Kansas from Jan. 22, 2004 (see video from the bottom of this blog).

Here's some video from Richmond point guard Kevin Anderson, who also says his team is confident: "Everybody on the team knows we can win this game."

3:31 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Some interesting quotes from KU's media session ...

KU guard Tyshawn Taylor, on how his suspension changed him: " I think it definitely opened my eyes a little bit and realized that my team was just as good without me, so I had to come back and prove myself to my team and my coaches."

KU forward Marcus Morris, on Richmond: "They are very fundamental. They have a good inside-out game. They have a point guard that is really good, but I like ours better."

KU forward Marcus Morris, on playing a lower-seeded team: "We don't look at the seeds, but we look at the team. When you start looking at the seeds and thinking about that, then you lose."

KU guard Tyrel Reed, on being back in San Antonio: "I think Brady (Morningstar), Conner (Teahan) and I are the only ones that were here then. We were all walking together last night on the River Walk and just remembering the good times we had."

2:35 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Some photos from Nick Krug from the Richmond practice.

Richmond guard Kevin Anderson elevates to the bucket during a day of practices and press conferences at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Thursday, March 24, 2011.

Richmond guard Kevin Anderson elevates to the bucket during a day of practices and press conferences at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Thursday, March 24, 2011. by Nick Krug

Richmond guard Kevin Anderson leans in for a shot during a day of practices and press conferences at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Thursday, March 24, 2011.

Richmond guard Kevin Anderson leans in for a shot during a day of practices and press conferences at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Thursday, March 24, 2011. by Nick Krug

Richmond forward Justin Harper elevates for a dunk during a day of practices and press conferences at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Thursday, March 24, 2011.

Richmond forward Justin Harper elevates for a dunk during a day of practices and press conferences at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Thursday, March 24, 2011. by Nick Krug

By the way, doesn't Richmond's Justin Harper look exactly like former KU player Wayne Simien?

I asked Harper if he knew who Wayne Simien was.

"Yeah. He used to play at Kansas," he said.

Has anybody told you that you look like him, I asked.

"No, no. No one told me that," he said with a laugh.

Make that one person who's pointed out the resemblance to him.

2:17 p.m. update: By Matt Tait

KU takes the floor - Brady Moringstar leads the way - to a rousing cheer from the couple hundred or so fans in the Alamodome stands.

Before going through warm-ups, the Jayhawks walked past and introduced themselves to five military veterans from the area who were given floor seats for the practice.

The Jayhawks have a ton of bounce and energy, led by the man who walked them out. As he strutted onto the floor for the first time, Morningstar threw his hands into the air and flashed two peace signs to the adoring crowd.

At the moment, it's all business.

2:09 p.m. update: By Matt Tait

Just a couple of quick things about VCU, who left the practice floor about 10 minutes ago to make way for KU.

• First, I thought it was real interesting that their breakdown was "Kill on three... 1, 2, 3, Kill." Talk about focused.

• The Rams had a ton of energy when they took the floor, most of it was giddy energy. Unlike Richmond, which seemed really dialed in during its 30-minute run-through, VCU had lots of laughs, lots of giggles and lots of smiles. That's not to say they weren't dialed in, but they seemed to be having a lot of fun. The coolest part, they were led in that department by head coach Shaka Smart.

KU's coming to the floor next....

1:20 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Short Cliff's Notes version of Richmond coach Chris Mooney at his press conference today.

Richmond head coach Chris Mooney flips the ball around as he watches the Spiders run drills during a day of practices and press conferences at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Thursday, March 24, 2011.

Richmond head coach Chris Mooney flips the ball around as he watches the Spiders run drills during a day of practices and press conferences at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Thursday, March 24, 2011. by Nick Krug

Mooney says playing basketball for Princeton coach Pete Carril shaped him as a coach.

KU is an incredible program with great tradition. The most important thing for Richmond is to just play and do what it's done throughout the season.

The thing that jumps out at you about the Jayhawks is how easily they score. They're an impressive team. Mooney doesn't know how well Richmond can guard KU. The most impressive thing for Mooney about KU is that even with all of its talent, all KU's players share the ball.

There is pressure on both teams. KU plays with pressure nearly every non-conference and conference games. The Jayhawks are used to the pressure. For Richmond, there is pressure because this is a new experience.

KU's Morris twins present a problem for everybody they play because of their strength and versatility. KU is committed to getting the ball into them. Mooney doesn't know if KU has seen a point guard like Kevin Anderson or a post player like Justin Harper.

Richmond gains confidence by defending well. In the games it hasn't played well, it hasn't played poised and lost its composure.

12:53 p.m. update: By Matt Tait

Richmond just left the floor after its 30-minute practice in front of the media and a handful of Spiders fans.

Here are a few quick things I observed while watching them.

• First off, Richmond was giving real effort during their drill time. Last week, in Tulsa, Okla., the open practices were little more than a walk-through. Even the lower seeded teams chose to dance through this portion, waiting to do the dirty work behind closed doors. Not today. Maybe it's because the stakes are so much higher. Maybe it's just the way Richmond rolls. Either way, these guys worked hard out there today. It was impressive to watch.

• While hard work was the theme of the Richmond practice, you shouldn't mistake that for an all-business-only approach. There were plenty of smiles out there, too. From head coach Chris Mooney to star guard Kevin Anderson and big-time big man Justin Harper all the way down to the managers and walk-ons, the Spiders were digging it. (Side note, VCU just took the floor and they were even more smiley than the Spiders. Cool to see.)

• As the Spiders left the floor, their small crowd got loud and cheered them off. It was impressive for a small group. (Side note #2: One of the VCU assistants on the floor just turned to another and said, 'It's weird seeing Richmond here." Not because he didn't think the Spiders belonged, instead because the two share the same town. Crazy.)

More to come....

12:40 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Welcome to the Alamodome in San Antonio, site of the Kansas men’s basketball team’s Sweet 16 game Friday against Richmond.

Today is the pregame media session, meaning all four teams are here to talk to reporters about their upcoming games. KU’s players and coaches will talk to media members starting at 1:30, with open practice to follow at 2:10.

We’ll have updates throughout the day here, but I wanted to start with a couple videos to watch if you haven’t yet.

The first one I put in my Richnond preview blog, as it’s a cool, behind-the-scenes video from this year’s Richmond men’s basketball team, somewhat similar to the “Gridiron” videos that the KU athletics deprtment produced for football this year.

I also noticed that Richmond’s athletic department put this video up on YouTube as well, showing the highlights from UR’s 69-68 victory over KU on Jan. 22, 2004.

The video was only posted on YouTube three days ago. Interesting way to try to get your fans fired up.

Keep checking back for more updates throughout the day.

Comments

Keith Hummel 8 years, 10 months ago

Nice video about their program. Too bad they have to lose tomorrow night. If they were playing anyone but Kansas I would be rooting for them all the way.

Spiders 8 years, 10 months ago

That is a genuinely nice comment. For what it's worth, the feeling's mutual. We respect KU an awful lot, and know we have our work cut out for us. We have never played a team playing at the same level as Kansas is right now. When we won in '04, Kansas was good, but not good like your are now. But we are better now than we were then also.
But, if you beat us, I can assure you that the vast majority of people around here will be rooting for you. We're not fond of Yankees, (boo UCONN), we can't stand the arrogance in NC (boo Duke and UNC), and nothing is worse than a school that insists on inserting "the" in front of it (boo Ohio State). I hope we kick your ass tomorrow night, but on the "off-chance" you beat us, we've got your back the rest of the way. Cheers from Richmond, and respect to KU.

Dan Harris 8 years, 10 months ago

Great post Spider and I think I can speak for most KU faithful that your posts have been a refreshing change from the usual idiotic comments made on this site from other teams fans. Good luck tomorrow but obviously I hope the Hawks prevail!

Redlandsjhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Agree with the other posters good luck and here's to a good game, but as Marcus said"you boys better be ready"!

live4h2o 8 years, 10 months ago

Anyone know where we can see the AFH pregame video? The ones I have seen on YouTube are very poor quality (sound and video).... Hook me up...

PhogPhanatic 8 years, 10 months ago

We haven't seen a guard or post player like that?? Ummm...Jacob Pullen...Ummm...Derrick Williams, to name a few.

Jesse Newell 8 years, 10 months ago

I think he meant that they provide different challenges, not that they are necessarily the best.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 10 months ago

It would seem that from the perspective of the limited experience of the spiders, they could see the abilities of their top players as unique, but when you've played as many games against top quality opponents (not to mention practices and scrimmages against the NBA alumni) the skill set really isn't that unique.

As long as we play focused, there is no contest.

Sam Brockert 8 years, 10 months ago

Anyone else notice in that video of the Richmond game the Richmond player traveled? Just on observation.

Joe Satterwhite 8 years, 10 months ago

that s the dumbest video i couldve possibly seen in my life

justinryman 8 years, 10 months ago

Jesse, are fly swatters selling off the hooks down there? Just wondering how many KU fans are buying them. Then again it makes one wonder how many costume shops have rented out Spiderman costumes?

Kent Wells 8 years, 10 months ago

Hey Jesse/Matt

Welcome to San Antonio!

This is boring. But, one favor, if you see any signs of dunking, STOP them!

Joe Satterwhite 8 years, 10 months ago

hey jesse about how many jayhawk fans do you expect to be there tomorrow?

Jesse Newell 8 years, 10 months ago

I would definitely think the most of any team here. Saw a lot of KU fans on the River Walk last night. There weren't a ton of folks here today, but it was just a practice. I'd guess a few thousand KU fans here tomorrow.

86finalfour 8 years, 10 months ago

good video of bill self showing the x and o's of their ball-screen offense. Good stuff here, and as usual bill keeps it entertaining.

http://tourney.si.com/2011/03/23/power-rankings-the-sweet-sixteen/?eref=sihp

Funhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Don't you wish you could be there? But, thanks to Jesse Newell, we are!

Still perplexed how Justin Harper looks like Wayne Simeon. Don't see the resemblance at all. Regardless, Jesse Newell is fun. Go Hawks!!

ParisHawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Jesse, your site is still showing 6:27 P.M. a game time, but March Madness on Demand is saying 5:15 P.M. Central time. Is there any doubt about game time tomorrow?

ParisHawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Forget it, checked around and every site agrees with you. March Madness must have a Daylight Savings Time bug.

86finalfour 8 years, 10 months ago

Funny, Self is looking so teacherly with those glasses....then agin, he truly is! RCJH!

Gregg Gibson 8 years, 10 months ago

Not getting ahead of the Richmond game (focus, guys!) but... does anyone know if it has been announced when the Sunday game would be? Want to make sure I don't have a conflict. Rock Chalk!

Jonathan Kealing 8 years, 10 months ago

It's not set, but it would be one of either either 1:10 p.m. or 3:55 p.m.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 10 months ago

Jonathan/Jesse - Someone asked above about the Fieldhouse Intro video. Is that something that has a copyright an therefore is protected by KU, or is there some other reason you all know of why the athletic dept wouldn't post it somewhere. It sure would be nice to access as a tool to teach all things good and true to my family until I can arrange a trip back to BB mecca.

Ed Fox 8 years, 10 months ago

I actually asked the athletic department about this once, via email. I received a very nice email back discussing that the music and some of the clips were copyrighted and, in order to post it on the internet, KU's AD would have to pay for the rights to broadcast those copyrighted works onto the internet medium. I don't love it, but I understand it. And while the YouTube vids aren't great, they at least give a feel.

Jeremy Wilhelm 8 years, 10 months ago

Love it when Marcus says: "People say we SHOULD beat them, but that ain't the truth. I want their best shot."

KU_FanSince75 8 years, 10 months ago

Jesse---

Don't let Keegan throw you in the river off the "River Walk!" Big fine by San Antonio's finest! Kind of like a Jack Link's commercial---just messin' with you.

Brian Powell 8 years, 10 months ago

party foul #1: telling one black guy he looks like another :P that's why he laughed.

different eyes, ears, neck, facial hair, head shape... but it was probably the hair length that triggered it for you?

tdscpa 8 years, 10 months ago

"By the way, doesn't Richmond's Justin Harper look exactly like former KU player Wayne Simien?'

Yikes!!

You're a braver man than I am. The rest of the statement could have mentioned that you would be hard-pressed to identify one or the other in a line-up?

Tony Bandle 8 years, 10 months ago

What concrns me about this game is that there is no way we should lose.....and those prove to be our biggest challenges. I expect another slow start with a competitive first half, but size, numbers, ability and experience will wear the Spiders down.

Watching the games tonight left me with one impression..Holy Crap, there some good teams in this Tourney and we better play our a$$es off to survive!!!

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Duke out. Yessss! They ran into more muscle and cheap shotting than they could dish out.

Zona in. Very tough, but we can take Zona. Again. And Derrick, don't try working us like you did the last time, or you're going to get a forearm smash to the face...and another...and another...and another.

SDSU out. Of course. They were sun stroke illusions.

UConn in. Score one for the blood pressure cuff. But Kemba--you ain't throwin' 36 on our guys...ever.

BYU out. One man teams don't cut it in the Madness.

Florida in. Sneaky Billy is back sniffin' around for a Final Four appearance. Haven't watch Gators, so not sure how much to fear them.

All in all, one of the best nights of KU basketball I can recall, when they didn't play a game. :-)

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Tea leaves say: Cuonzo Martin is MU''s next coach.

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