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Sunday, March 4, 2007

Durant had to ‘suck it up’

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Kevin Durant returned from the locker room in the second half with a slight limp - and received a standing ovation in Allen Fieldhouse.

It's a rare sight at a hostile venue that once was home to several legendary players. But Texas' phenomenal freshman is as rare a player as college basketball has seen in some time - poised, deadly, versatile and oozing with talent.

KU fans weren't standing and cheering. College basketball fans were.

Durant returned after aggravating an ankle injury and finished with 32 points and nine rebounds. KU won the game, 90-86, but it wasn't because of the 6-foot-9 star, who had 25 points in an amazing first half.

"He turned it (Friday) in practice," Texas coach Rick Barnes said of Durant's left ankle. "He felt like he could play, and we put him back in there because we felt like if he sat, it would get tight on him. Obviously, he was limping a little bit. He couldn't move the way he normally does."

Durant tweaked the injury and went to the locker room with 11:21 left after missing a pull-up jumper in the lane. Even before the setback, though, Durant had cooled off.

That - coupled with UT's inability to rebound and take care of the ball, according to Barnes - allowed Kansas to take back the game.

"I just wanted to suck it up and play for my team," said Durant, who averages 25.1 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. "They picked me up when I was out, so I just wanted to suck it up for them. I just took the pain."

Audio clips

2006-07 March 3 KU-Texas Hoops

Durant nailed a late three to help give Texas a chance, but it was his first-half dominance that will stick with the 16,300 in attendance for a long time.

Durant made 11 of 14 first-half shots, hit all five of his three-point attempts (often with a hand in his face) and passed the ball with precision whenever the Jayhawks put a double-team on him.

Durant sometimes posted up 18 feet from the basket. Anything to get the ball.

"He's done a lot of good things all year," Barnes said. "What makes (Saturday's performance) impressive was what's at stake. It shows you what he's about."

Kansas officials brought a box of championship T-shirts and a ladder for net-cutting into the northwest tunnel with 28 seconds left and KU up, 88-80.

What followed had to have made them nervous. Durant nailed a three. Then A.J. Abrams followed with a trey of his own with 23 seconds left to make it 88-86.

Then, down 89-86 with 15 ticks remaining, Justin Mason missed a three, but D.J. Augustin came up with the rebound. Augustin's three was blocked by Julian Wright, ending a great chance for Texas to steal the game in stunning fashion.

Texas (22-8 overall, 12-4 Big 12) was poised to clinch a share of the Big 12 title with a victory Saturday, but it went away with KU's overpowering second half.

"We were right there, up 12 at halftime," Durant said. "But 20 minutes of basketball can change the whole season."

Comments

kc_wildfire 15 years, 9 months ago

Nice to see KU fans show great class and sportsmanship by giving him an ovation. It is that kind of behavior that makes KU what it is.

Carter Patterson 15 years, 9 months ago

Does anybody know if the Big 12 had sent the trophy to Allen for the players to get their picture with after the game? I remember that there was a lot of controversy when Texas got the trophy after clinching a tie.

FlaHawk 15 years, 9 months ago

Big 12 sent two trophies to Lawrence ... jsut incase UT won and they were co-champs.

JNgohawks 15 years, 9 months ago

yes, it Texas won they would have both received them in their locker rooms

Displayhawk 15 years, 9 months ago

Congrats to the boys in blue! Funny how all the "Fire Self and Hire Turgeon" talk has died down! Let's kick some a** in the Big Dance! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Jclarkson 15 years, 9 months ago

Fire Self!!!!

I must saying...im just saying :).

rockchalkjayhawk4ku11 15 years, 9 months ago

Jim Jones Jclarkson, and faceit with all do respect, and rember I'm saying with all do respect, you guys are the biggest idiots ever! "Lets Fire Bill Self" you guys sound like Fags!!! Why fire him?? We won, didn't we?? Durant was shooting LIGHTS OUT first half. So was the rest of the team! We cant stop that! They hit 11 of 13 three pointers first half. Ill do the math for you three idiots because I know you can't. THATS 33 points. WOW. What ever the F%^ Bill Self said to them at half time must of worked. Right??? Because we came back and won it and don't say we only won it because Durant was injured, because i have heard all that Bull S(% stuff already! But lets fire Self anyway Right??I mean its not like he hasn't recruited people like Julian, Brandon, Mario, Sherron, Darrell, Darnell, Russell. Right?? Ya he totally sucks!!! You guys sound like the biggest dumb a$$es i have ever heard. Good Game Self and hawks. Dont listen to those FAGS above except the good comments.

Robert Murphy 15 years, 9 months ago

Rockchockjawkwhatever can't you take a joke. Lighten up!

Christopher Johnson 15 years, 9 months ago

We should've won by more? Give me a break, we "won" by 20 after being down sixteen (coming back sixteen plus winning by four makes 20). I think that says more about this team and our coach than winning by 30. I personally get bored watching us win by 30. "We should've won by more". You're so full of S*&%!!!!!!!!!!!

Christopher Johnson 15 years, 9 months ago

Besides, what do you guys want out of a coach for God's sake? Do you want an all invincible, never lose, guaranteed to keep the national player of the year always in check coach? I've got news: it's not gonna happen. Tell me one coach out there that is guaranteed every night to get his team to control a player like Durant. Now: Tell me coaches that can rally their team down from Sixteen in a matter of less than 8 minutes. There aren't many. Self did it. I've been on an antiSelf bandwagon before . . . never have i said fire him. That's ignorant. You're ignorant. There I said it. YOU'RE IGNORANT and you can't appreciate good basketball. I think Coach K is one of the best coaches who has ever coached any game and we all know his team isn't really a top 25 team this year. It happens: At least Billy boys' teams are getting more consistent each year! I can't wait til next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We all know Rush and Wright can't go pro yet . . . its gonna be the same team. Rock Chalk baby!!!!

rockchalkjayhawk4ku11 15 years, 9 months ago

it usually helps to hear someones voice to know if they are using sarcasm ! doesnt it?

rockchalkjayhawk4ku11 15 years, 9 months ago

BTW i have heard jimjones talk lots of S*&% about self. soooo how was i suppost to know that he was being sarcastic??

Christopher Johnson 15 years, 9 months ago

you're right . . . missed some of the sarcasm there. I know some of those guys are Bill Self haters though . . . and there are many others out there who are, so those messages were for those that are.

My apologies to anyone who was using sarcasm . . . its tough to gauge without a tone of voice, like rockchalk said . . . but my bad. I'll admit fault.

We're all on the same team right?

rockchalkjayhawk4ku11 15 years, 9 months ago

im sorry too for calling people names and stuff, but i was pissed and i still no that jimjones hates self anyway. And i still think you are an idiot jimjones!

Jclarkson and faceit my bad! Im the idiot not u too!

(except jimjones is still an idiot)

hometownhawk 15 years, 9 months ago

...so this board effectively got off track of discussing an amazing win, led by a great coach and extremely tough play. jimjones has no brain, so ignore him and enjoy the 'Hawks.

Joe Ross 15 years, 9 months ago

jimjones, go root for your wildcats. are they even going to make the tournament this year?

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