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Sunday, March 9, 2008

KU hoops notebook

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2007-08 March 8 KU-Texas A&M Hoops

Win it for Hudy: Kansas University's players dedicated the victory and their fourth-straight league title to strength and conditioning coach Andrea Hudy.

Hudy's mom, Mary, died on Saturday morning after a battle with cancer.

"It all started this morning when our strength and conditioning coach's mom died. She asked us to come back with another ring. It was for her," KU's Darrell Arthur said.

Hudy did not make the trip to College Station. She flew to her home state of Pennsylvania this weekend.

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Rush's dunk awesome: Freshman center Cole Aldrich was amazed at a vicious dunk in the closing minutes by Brandon Rush.

"We'd like to see him do that more. It was nasty," Aldrich said.

It was one of Rush's two buckets on a day he missed seven shots.

"It was good to get a lot of aggression out," Rush said. "I was shooting too many floaters, not taking it to the hole real strong. I just got fed up, like, 'Man, I've got to dunk on somebody before the game is over.' It was nasty."

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Stitches: Aldrich has been wearing a wrap on his right hand during games for a reason.

"I got stitches in my hand a few weeks ago. It's feeling better," he said.

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No bubbly on hand: The Jayhawks didn't pop open champagne in the locker room to celebrate their fourth straight league crown.

"That's for tonight," the 22-year-old Rush cracked.

"This is really special. The seniors were holding up four fingers; me and 'Rio' (Mario Chalmers) were holding up three (in locker room)," Rush added.

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Not many seeds set: The Big 12 office reports that just four seeds are decided for the Big 12 tournament entering today's final two games of the regular season.

Kansas State is the No. 3 seed, Oklahoma No. 4, Baylor No. 5 and Texas A&M; No. 6.

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Stats, facts: KU has won at least a share of eight Big 12 titles in the league's 12 years of existence. KU has won a nation's-best 51 conference crowns. ... KU has won four straight league titles for the sixth time in school history and first time since 1995-98. ... KU has won 36 of its last 39 regular-season games and is 42-4 over the last 46. ... KU is 12-1 all-time versus A&M; and 5-0 in Reed Arena. ... KU has won at least 13 league games for the seventh time in 12 years and third year in a row. KU has won at least 11 games in each year of the Big 12. ... Chalmers improved to seventh on KU's all-time list for three-pointers made. He has cashed 158 treys. ... KU finished the conference season with 91 blocks, which ranks fifth all-time at KU. ... Arthur collected his 100th blocked shot.

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Good to see Danny: Texas A&M; coach Mark Turgeon was happy to see his old teammate, Danny Manning, Saturday on KU's bench.

"I'm happy for him because he is getting to do what he loves," Turgeon told the Texas A&M; Battalion. "He loves basketball, and especially Kansas basketball. He was a great player, and he made me better when we played together."

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Turg pleases AD: A&M; athletic director Bill Byrne told the Dallas Morning News he's satisfied with Turgeon's work his first season in College Station.

"I think the first year that any coach takes over another team is always extremely difficult," Byrne told the paper. "You don't have a relationship with the athletes that has been developed the way the previous coach has.

"Having said that, I think Mark has done a remarkably good job in taking over a team that had a lot of success previously but lost three outstanding veterans (Acie Law, Antanas Kavaliauskas, Marlon Pompey) that contributed to our success."

Of some of Turgeon's brash remarks this season, including saying he's in a "no flippin' win" situation because if he wins it's because of ex-coach Billy Gillispie's players and if he loses it's because of his own performance, Byrne told the paper: "I think that Mark is an extremely honest coach. You don't get a lot of coach-speak from him, and I think media like that a lot because he's direct. But they'll use that against him. As Mark learns what the media market is like here, you'll eventually get less descriptive words."

Comments

Nutflush21 14 years, 8 months ago

I imagine the scrutiny that Turg is under will only get worse since A&M is losing Donlad Sloan, Joseph Jones and possibly D'Andre Jordan. Next year will be tough for them, especially if Jordan goes pro, but hopefully the A&M fans, media and AD give Turg the time necessary to succeed.

jayhawkinATL 14 years, 8 months ago

Agreed, Nutflush21. I definitely think Turg will show his worth to the Aggie fans in a relatively short time. He'll bring some top-notch recruits to College Station.

nicka 14 years, 8 months ago

"...I just got fed up, like, 'Man, I've got to dunk on somebody before the game is over.' It was nasty."

Did anyone else get jacked up when they saw this quote from b.rush? Look out America. Sherron is ballin' and b.rush is gettin' "nasty".

JJHawq 14 years, 8 months ago

Turg needs to stop whining... ..imo.

Robert Brock 14 years, 8 months ago

Where is DeAndre Jordan going? Burma must be calling. He has nothing that the NBA wants right now.

Chicago_JHawk 14 years, 8 months ago

I'm tired of Rush's inconsistency. I can't understand why he doesn't play aggressively all the time. He has the skills - why not use them.

actorman 14 years, 8 months ago

I agree completely, Chicago and Lebowski. I find nothing to get "jacked up" about by Rush's comment. In fact, it reminds me of Julian talking about going into "beast mode" -- as if it's something he shouldn't be doing all the time.

jaybate 14 years, 8 months ago

I hope Brandon is alright.

Sometimes when the camera shows close ups of him at the FT line he actually looks confused, like he is not entirely sure what is going on.

Going through a major surgery and a grueling rehabilitation takes the starch out of many persons. Many persons have struggled emotionally with the aftermath of surgical recoveries. Pain killers can become crutches. The pressure to recover in a hurry to grab the brass ring of a pro contract is enormous for a young person. He hasn't seemed himself intermittently for awhile now.

People talk about how he has always been up and down, but I remember him being amazingly consistent on offense as a frosh, and I remember him consistently being Mr. Do-Everything-but-wash -the-jocks last year for Coach Self.

This year he is really struggling. I would not be concerned for him, if it were only his knee that was not as good as it was. But his emotional state seems far less even than before the surgery. He has never been a fiery personality. But he has also never seemed confused. He may be struggling with depression, which is serious business.

It is okay to assess, even criticize his performances. I certainly have. But it is also important to remember that he has been through a major trauma and that post traumatic stress syndrome has afflicted many persons who have endured less shocks than him.

Regardless, he is still quite a player. Why do I say that? Because it takes an exceptionally good player to still get 10 points on a very off night. Compare Brandon to Bill Walker, who is also struggling mightily with the emotional aftermath of traumatic knee surgery and rehab. When he has an off night, he scores in single digits. I don't really know HOW Brandon managed even 10 against A&M. Opponents all still work him over and gear their defenses to stop him. He is our best player still. We and Coach Self and everyone else who looks at the KU team knows that for KU to go all the way, Brandon will have to play up to the level he did last year sooner or later this season. He has not done so yet. The pressure on him has to be very great. The suspense of whether he will EVER come all the way back has to be an enormous weight on him.

jaybate 14 years, 8 months ago

Frankly, when I pause as I am doing now and reflect about what he has gone through and what he is being asked to do by everyone AND by himself, no doubt, this may be his finest season yet.

It is easy for a great player to be great when everything is going his way.

It is one of the hardest tasks of all to be a great player being asked to keep preparing to carry his team, even as he is recovering from surgery that many never rehabilitate even as far as he has already.

Tremendous pressure is being placed on Brandon. He is placing tremendous pressure on himself. Yet he still cannot do what he once could do effortlessly.

I, for one, want him to know that nothing is more important than his emotional well being. Not the big contract. Not Coach self's expectation's. Not his team's. Not the fan's. I want him to know that he has already been heroic to come back as far as he has in my opinion.

As great as Danny Manning was, after the knee injuries, he was never again able to be the corner stone of a team. He became a role player. Brandon continues as a cornerstone of this team. He is still the leader on the vibes of the KC Kool Jazz Quintet.

He can only do what he can do. And that is good enough for me--win or lose.

He is a Jayhawk and I will always respect him.

rgale29 14 years, 8 months ago

Jaybate. That is a bunch of junk, kind and touchy feely but junk. I've watched or been to every game and B. Rush has no "confused" look. He's simply trying to regain his groove, and sometimes he's frustrated because it isn't as easy as it was before the injury. PTSS-give me a break, he's fine it takes awhile and he has been a great player though he doesn't yet have instinctive trust of his knee and thats OK, and I'm glad we have him. These all are great kids and all have represented themselves and the University in exemplary fashion. But please save the psycho-babble.

FlaHawk 14 years, 8 months ago

I have failed to see any marked improvement in Rush's game since his Frosh year. He has no game inside of 15 feet.

While he is quite athletic he is way to soft to play the 3 positionin NBA. He is a shooting guard in the NBA and he is not a scorer. This leaves him in a poor situation on draft day.

He will not be alottery pick and I neleive he might as well stay another year at KU and enjoy the college life. He will make no more or less by staying another year.

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