Sunday, January 18, 2009

Many happy returns

Ex-Jayhawk Jackson on hand for win

Kansas guard Sherron Collins whips a pass along the baseline around Colorado guard Dwight Thorne II during the second half Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009 at the Coors Events Center in Boulder, Colorado.

Kansas guard Sherron Collins whips a pass along the baseline around Colorado guard Dwight Thorne II during the second half Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009 at the Coors Events Center in Boulder, Colorado.


Jayhawks at home in Boulder

KU toppled Colorado, 73-56 Saturday.

Audio clips

2009 KU-CU Jan. 17

— About 6,000 die-hard Kansas University basketball fans danced in the aisles during the final minutes of the Jayhawks’ 73-56 victory over Colorado on Saturday at crimson-and-blue-splattered Coors Events Center.

“This is our house! This is our house!” the spectators bellowed in unison after a loud rendition of the “Rock Chalk Chant.”

It did indeed seem like Allen Fieldhouse West, with more than half the crowd of 10,212 rooting for the Jayhawks on a beautiful, unseasonably warm 60-degree day.

“It counts in the Big 12 as a road win, but to us it’s more a ‘home road’ win,” KU junior Sherron Collins said, cracking a smile.

His 15-point first-half explosion helped the Jayhawks to a 34-27 lead; Tyrel Reed’s 11-point second half sparked the eventual run-away victory.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had as many fans here. It’s pretty remarkable,” said sixth-year KU coach Bill Self, whose Jayhawks improved to 13-4 overall and 2-0 in the league. CU dropped to 8-8, 0-2.

One KU fan stood out above all the rest.

Former KU power forward Darnell Jackson, a rookie with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, boarded an early-morning flight from Cleveland, got stuck in Chicago for a couple of hours because of a mechanical problem with the plane’s engine, but made it to Boulder in time to watch some of the game while standing in the south tunnel.

KU’s Collins (18 points, seven assists) and Cole Aldrich (15 points off 6-of-6 shooting, 10 rebounds) raced through the tunnel and bear-hugged Jackson as all the Jayhawks exited for the locker room after the game.

“It was good to see him. I was so happy to see him,” Collins said of Jackson, who made a special trip just for the one game. He was to fly back to Cleveland on Saturday night, practice today, then travel to Los Angeles with the team for a Monday game against the Lakers.

“I talk to Darnell a lot. He’ll tell you I probably bug him way too much,” Aldrich said. “I love talking to him. He’s been through so much. He knows how to fight through tough times. Anybody playing with and learning from LeBron (James of the Cavs) ... I’m wide-eyed.”

Self gave Jackson a big hug, then said, “D.J., come with me,’’ in escorting Jackson into the winner’s locker room.

“I listened to coach Self. His speeches haven’t changed,” Jackson said of the winner’s locker-room scene. “He told me to just tell the guys what he told me when I first got to KU, when I was going through all my freshmen stuff and all the tragedy I was going through. He told me if I just stay strong and listen to the coaches and listen to him, everything would be fine.”

Jackson challenged KU’s freshmen to take similar words to heart. Saturday, freshmen Tyshawn Taylor and Marcus Morris had 14 and 10 points respectively.

“Darnell talked about listening to coach. He said if you listen to coach, good things will happen. He said coach told him if he kept working and listening he could be an NBA player. He’s a testament to that,” sophomore guard Reed said after hitting four of six shots, including three of five three-pointers.

Self acknowledged “it was great seeing him” and as an added bonus loved the fact he visited with the players before they boarded the team bus.

“The big thing with Darnell ... what we said could occur for him all came true. He bought into it,” Self said. “If these guys buy into it, they will have bright futures, too. Right now, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel and not have it be a train.”

So what did the NBA player think of KU’s performance Saturday?

“Real good,” Jackson said, quickly adding, “I heard they turned the ball over 18 times. That’s not good. That’s when coach gets upset, when they turn the ball over.”

Both teams actually suffered 18 turnovers. KU at times struggled against the Buffs’ 1-3-1 and 2-3 zone defenses.

Yet a couple of significant runs helped KU overcome the bobbles.

Collins scored 10 points in a 17-5 run to close the first half and give KU the lead at the break.

An 18-4 run, in which Reed and Morris had five points apiece, busted open a 34-32 score early in the second half.

“It was bad,” Self said of KU committing five quick turnovers to open the second half. “My talks at halftime aren’t that good, obviously, because we come out and go the other way. We actually scored pretty easily when we didn’t turn it over. It wasn’t pressure, but careless plays. We weren’t great defensively. We put Higgins (Cory, 20 points, 12 of 12 free throwing) at the line too much.

“We didn’t play great, obviously. (But) last year’s team was tied here at halftime. We’ve had a lot of teams struggle out here. If you told me before the game we’d win by 17, I’d say we’d had to played really well.”

KU won its sixth straight and 17th of 18 games at the Coors Center, in part because of the KU fans.

“We appreciate them being here. I wanted to make sure they knew I knew they were here,” said Collins, who waved to the fans, imploring them to make noise in the second half.

“I’m just thanking them for coming out. It was great for our team.”

KU will meet Texas A&M; at 8 p.m. Monday in Allen Fieldhouse.


hometownhawk 13 years, 10 months ago

So if this was a 'home road win', it doesn't count as our first road win. Bummer.

Lance Hobson 13 years, 10 months ago

Great to see Darnell make the trip, what a great Jayhawk he is. Anyone know how he's doing in Cleveland? I assume he's over his injury now.

KGphoto 13 years, 10 months ago

I was half expecting a weak year as far as the turnout. But I think it was the strongest turnout of the last eight years. The chant was in full form. I almost felt bad for the CU fans.Never have I felt more like it really WAS our house. F'n embarrassing for CU.And by the way. Danny Manning is one of the coolest guys ever. He was the last player (Him and Sherron) to get on the bus and he must have signed a couple hundred autographs. I mean he stayed until EVERYBODY got a chance to take a picture with him, or shake his hand. Overall, what an awesome day in Boulder.

SDSurferFan 13 years, 10 months ago

Didn't get to see the game on the West Coast, they showed the Wake game. What was the deal with LIttle. Started, but didn't play much and didn't score?

bashe24 13 years, 10 months ago

The ups and downs of this young team is HARD to watch. NO doubting Bill though, he will get them into shape. If Collins and Aldrich come back, we should be starting Collins, Taylor, Little, Withey and Aldrich next year. NATIONAL TITLE!

speedy 13 years, 10 months ago

i expected some reaction to ABC,s insult to kansas univ. BB fans and to the univ. as a whole. you get treated like 2nd class dirt and just turn the cheek? thats the second time a network has cut off a ku game. no response from the AD or anyone but a very few alums. what gives?

jco8394 13 years, 10 months ago

speedy...What are you talking about? I watched the whole game on ABC...and so what if they go to a different game? They do that all the time for NFL games on CBS or FOX plus I'm guessing that more people across the nation probably wanted to see the Wake Forest/Clemson game more. Two then undefeated teams or a young team beating up on a crap team....which do you thing the people want to see more...which is going to attract more viewers? DUH

jayhawkr34 13 years, 10 months ago

if i were darnell, and i read the sub-heading of this i would be insulted. "ex" jayhawk. at least later gary half way redeemed himself by saying "former". again these people call themselves my mind and im sure in darnells mind, once a jayhawk, always a jayhawk.

63Jayhawk 13 years, 10 months ago

Speedy, ABC did not cut away from the KU-CU game in my area. If it hapened to you, perhaps that decision was made by your local station or cable company. Personally, I have little concern when ABC carries the games. It is CBS that I hate to see carry the KU games. They almost always cut away from the game before it is finished. I don't mind missing the beginning of a game when the network is still carrying another game that is not finished, but I hate it when they cut away from the end of my game to carry the beginning of another game.

rockchalk_dpu 13 years, 10 months ago

Strikewso,I checked up on Darnell last night to see how he has been playing. He has played in 17 games this year and is averaging 1.5 ppg along with 1.6 rpg in just under 7 minutes. I'd say he is still adjusting, but he also has to deal with playing behind Ben Wallace when the Cav's go big and Pavlovic when they want to go smaller. I think it will still be a while before he starts really getting into the rotation and sees improved minutes, perhaps when Wallace retires, but that if he continues to work the way he did at Kansas he will impress HC Mike Brown and become the regular contributer we know he can be. At any rate, good to see he is still proud to be a Jayhawk and supporting the team any way he can.RCJ

LAJayhawk 13 years, 10 months ago

jayhawkr34,we've had this conversation with Gary several times. He is completely aware of it, which is why he wrote "former" Jayhawk in his article. And he does so even though he doesn't see much difference between the two, just because some of us prefer "former" to "ex." He's simply a considerate guy. And, jayhawkr34, he has no control over the headlines. Please don't slam a writer -- especially a very good one like Gary -- for something he cannot control. When you insult and don't know what you are talking about, you look like a major tool.As to the game/article: it's great that Darnell made it to the game. Definitely a true Jayhawk.College basketball is all about runs, and this team is no different. When we go on those runs, we are as good as anyone. The problem is between those runs we are as bad as any team in Division 1 basketball.Clearly, however, we are improving with every game. And that is a great thing. Small steps. First road win under our belt (even if it was a "home road win").

jayhawkintexas 13 years, 10 months ago

LAJayhawk said it all. I don't disagree with a single thing he/she said. As for Darnell and Danny, they are individuals who show what class is all about. I hope our players use them as role models.

Tony Bandle 13 years, 10 months ago

I may be drinking the KU Koolaid or taking Jaybate's Medication [ whichever is stronger], but I think 12-4 in the conference is not an outrageous target. It won't be easy but it doesn't appear to be impossible.OU, Texas, Baylor, at Missouri all look pretty tough but playing A&M and Okie St. in Allen is a huge advantage. And outside of Missouri, the other four north teams can be double beat-ons. My gut tells me 10-6, but I think there is a chance for better.Feedback everyone, please? Am I deluding myself into thinking this team is not actually 9-7 and I "can't take the truth", as Jack would say?

Dan Pawlowski 13 years, 10 months ago

Given Self's track record of taking molding young teams by the beginning of February I think it is entirely in the realm of being that they could be 12-4 in the conference. If that is to happen it is of my opinion that of the freshmen the Morris twins need to mature quicker and quit fouling so much.

Dan Harris 13 years, 10 months ago

Oakville- I think 12-4 is VERY realistic, Beat A&M on Monday and they only have to go 9-4 the rest of the way. I think the worst they will do( barring an injury to SC or CA heaven forbid) is 11-5. Oh by the way, I'm pretty sure Jaybates meds are the stronger of the two!

jasonsgill 13 years, 10 months ago

aTm monday will be a huge measuring stick game. They look pretty damn good IMO, Although it seems like they are not road tested. Our fans might be good for 10pts in this one.

KGphoto 13 years, 10 months ago

Cleveland wanted Darnell for more than just court skills. The guy has been through a lot and beaten some tough odds. They made it pretty clear that they wanted him in the locker room and at practice to be a character guy. He may not play much in his entire NBA career, but I wouldn't bet against him.Bzdelik's team appeared to be getting his zone. The first half they were stepping into lanes and disrupting our guards. I think they will improve a lot this year, but it won't be because those ridiculous waterboy shirts the coaches were wearing. Anybody get a line on those threads? Haha.And Little had only one rebound and one foul in 8 minutes. Besides we really didn't need anymore size. Between ColeTrain and MckTwins, CU looked like little boys out there, so Brady was rebounding well. And he still has to be unseated as the teams best lock down defender. Reed got hot in the 2nd half. And Little has openly admitted to having some difficulty learning two positions, so he'll probably get his minutes gradually, in specific situations until he is more comfortable. There aren't that many minutes left out there when Reed is scoring and Brady is rebounding.

100 13 years, 10 months ago

I love that, with all due respect to Lebron, Darnell Jackson has something Lebron will never have. I'm not talking about an NCAA championship ring. I'm talking about a degree. I'm talking about four years of making friendships with 80,000 people who will always care about him. Lebron is great, but I'd take Darnell's position in life over Lebron's in a heartbeat, simply because of how he spent 2004-2008. In college. A champion. And a great friend.Rock Chalk, Darnell. Go Cavs!

jaybate 13 years, 10 months ago

Anyone notice that Mario Little's line for eight minutes was written in Base 1 aka binary code, aka marginal production?But the Twin composite yielded its fairly usual 13 pts/8 rebound game.Travis Releford practically went Base Zero, except for fouls.And Brady amped up his rebounding with EIGHT!!!We commanded our defensive boards, but once again gave them too many offensive glassvacs.And Kieff quelled his fouling.And Reed just found the range again after two poor shooting games, once again indicating htat he's a legitimate D1 trinitizer. The good onces seem to be able to limit their off shooting streaks to two games.Conner got out of the dog house long enough to miss a trey. This guy needs a hypnotist bad.Quintrel Thomas has apparently been abducted by aliens who left a pod of a body behind that Bill Self refuses to play under any circumstances. Not playing against Boulder when Little, Releford and Teahan flat line repeatedly has to be making Quintrell wonder what kind of hell he has fallen into. But if Quintrell will just hang in, it is getting increasingly apparent that Releford and Teahan will play themselves off the floor, and Little may just not be at all what he was cracked up to be. Quintrell, even if you called Bill Self's mother a dirty name in a fit of rage, he will call your number once again this season. Be ready. Those ahead of you are ahead of you not because you played poorly (I don't think you did), but because he wants some guys who can pop the triceratop and put it on the deck. If they can't give it to him, then he's got to readjust the pieces and find someone who can work the baseline for garbage and 10 Js. Can you do that? If you can, he will call you. The strong X axis Self is looking for can either cross wide at the wings, or narrow at the baseline. The X-axis can be slid up and down the Y axis that is so strong already. Keep working. Practice your baseline J. Challenge Coach Manning to teach you his jump hook from the baseline. Tell him you want to work on it from 10 pm to midnite and is he still Jayhawk enough to come to the field house after he puts his kids to bed? Tell him the season is hinging on it. He will man up. He is the all time man of Kansas basketball. He is Danny Manning.

jaybate 13 years, 10 months ago

Nick Krug is the best sports photographer I have ever seen. Enjoy him while he is here. He will almost certainly go to the big time very soon.

ku98 13 years, 10 months ago

100, once again, I could not disagree with you more.

100 13 years, 10 months ago

Ku98, with all due respect, why does that not surprise me? You put too much emphasis on fame, glory and money. Someday, believe it or not, Lebron won't even be able to Dunk. And he won't have a degree. And he won't have Naismith's home as his 2nd palace, where he's a folk hero forever...

mlubyRN 13 years, 10 months ago

Ku98, I think 100 has 10 up on you about this. I agree with him fully. No disrespect whatsoever to Lebron. He is an incredible player with tons of money.

kvskubball 13 years, 10 months ago

Oakville...Pass the koolaid or the meds....12-4 seems quite optimistic to But I'll be ecstatic if we do!We've beaten, though we didn't really spank either one, two of the bottom teams in the Big XII - the mildcats and the colders, pardon me I meant to say the Wildcats and Buffs...The TAggs will give us an indication of where we are. Yet, even if we are impressive against the Aggs, this team is still young and can still be inconsistent, which means a klunker game or two somewhere on the road. Remember that last year's team laid an egg in Stillwater. It happens to good teams and it is more likely, and probable to happen more often, to young teams.We certainly could finish 12-4............ IF we continue to improve and if we are able to play closer to our best game. Our players are very talented, just young. Remember that we looked awesome against Washington, and for a large part of the Syracuse game, one we looked great and won, the other we didn't.A lot of fans will say...we shouldn't talk about them being young, blah, blah, blah. When I turned 18, I didn't have much of a clue about life, and you know, I didn't learn everything there was to know before the end of my glorious first year of majority.I like our team, but I understand that the 8 guys who have moved on from last year's team all took more than one year to get their best game on!!! And most of them played almost every game, and a lot of minutes from the time they were freshmen.

Tony Bandle 13 years, 10 months ago

Thanks all for the 12-4 is not an outrageous illusion. Quintrell must have kicked HCBS's cat or something to be this far back in the doghouse and that far back on the edge of the bench. Teahan gets in, but not him??Is Teahan on scholarship and, if so, why? Hitting threes in practice doesn't mean a damn thing when you get into the game and run around looking scared. I know he's a local guy [Leawood] and seems like a good teammate, but he appears to be a Div. 2 player ready to happen? Can someone enlighten me please?

Lance Hobson 13 years, 10 months ago

RCJ, thanks for the info about Darnell, I'm sure he'll be solid for years to come. 100, well said, but you were wrong about one thing: there will be millions of Jayhawk fans who will always care about him.

ku98 13 years, 10 months ago

100, I put too much emphasis on fame and glory? Yet, you're the one talking about "being a folk hero forever"... A little two-faced, wouldn't you say?I don't think I put too much emphasis on anything. Just a healthy dose of realism, if you ask me.

100 13 years, 10 months ago

Ku98, with all due respect, be careful what you wish for. By the way, a Lawrence, KS folk hero is much different than what Lebron is. The guy (LJ) hasn't been able to walk in public by himself since he left high school. Not until he's 45 will he be able to take an elevator without a security staff or his teammates. The guy cant pick his nose without it becoming the cover of Time. There are many people in this great world who have lived this "great life" and will tell you the same thing... "be careful what you wish for, ku98". Don't get me wrong, I support Lebron. He's the best (right now). But someday he won't be able to Dunk. And he'll have to go find his high school friends. Not an awful tradeoff, I'm sure his high school friends are great -- it's just nothing compared to what Darnell has in life.

revdick 13 years, 10 months ago

I read your posts; don't post very often and understand Coach Self doesn't read emails etc but I'd sure like to get a tip to him; maybe some of you have an idea.I was at the CO game; drove 6 hours, 425 miles each way from Sheridan, Wyoming as we do every year. Most of the KU fans were facing the court where the team entered and left the floor. I know it's serious business, I know he wants them focused but it's still supposed to be fun. Would it be so terrible if he allowed (even suggested) that the guys wave to the fans as they leave the floor after the final warm up? Yeah, Collins urged the crowd to rev it up at one point but other than that, no recognition of the many fans who come from all over to support the team. Allen Fieldlhouse West was a sign a fan held up; being there was a glorious experience, as always.

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