Thursday, January 6, 2011

Travis Releford’s windmill dunk draws kudos

Kansas guard Travis Releford soars in for a windmill dunk in front of UMKC defenders Trinity hall, left, and Bakari Lewis during the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Travis Releford soars in for a windmill dunk in front of UMKC defenders Trinity hall, left, and Bakari Lewis during the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.




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Kansas defeated UMKC, 99-52 on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 99-52 victory over UMKC on Jan. 5, 2011.

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Travis Releford’s windmill dunk Wednesday was so impressive, even the opposition complimented him.

Immediately following the Kansas University sophomore’s highlight-reel slam in the second half of KU’s 99-52 victory over UMKC, Releford’s longtime friend — and UMKC guard Michael Gholston Jr. — found him on the court.

“He was like, ‘You really got up on that one,’” Releford said with a grin. “We laughed about it.”

It was the second time this season that he’d heard about one of his dunks from an opponent. Releford said one of the Texas A&M-Corpus; Christi players also approached him after his rocking, reverse jam on Nov. 23, asking him, “Why’d you have to do that to us?”

“It’s just whatever comes to mind at the moment,” Releford said of his slams. “I don’t go into a game planning what fast-break dunk I’m going to do, because I never know if I’m going to have one or not.”

Releford explained that he always looks to see where the closest defender is before attempting anything flashy.

Asked what percentage of the time he normally executed that exact windmill dunk, Releford said 100 percent of the time in games.

That’s because he’s only done it twice in a game.

“I’ve been doing that since middle school I think,” Releford said, “so it was kind of easy.”

Releford said that as long as his dunks resulted in two points, he was in the clear with KU coach Bill Self.

“If I miss, then I’m going to hear it. I’m going to have to pay the price for it,” Releford said. “But if I make it, it’s a great play, because it gets the crowd into it. Coach, he enjoyed the crowd getting into it.”

The 6-foot-5 Releford contributed in other ways as well against UMKC, tying a career-high with 13 points on 4-for-7 shooting in 18 minutes. He also went 2-for-3 from three-point range and served as a much-needed defender in the post with Thomas Robinson not available because of his grandmother’s death.

“Travis does try hard,” Self said. “He’s kind of a bad matchup down there for them, too, because he can drive (against) a big. He obviously made a couple shots tonight from range.

“He’s a good player. Travis is a good player — a good all-around player.”


Don Everett 11 years, 9 months ago

Travis seems like the perfect team player. A lot like Darnell Jackson in the fact that he will do what ever is needed for success.

Dirk Medema 11 years, 9 months ago

Travis has come SOOOOO far since the ex-HS star struggled so mightily as a freshman to figure out what his "role" was. The red-shirt year seems to have been such a beneficial year for him. Now there is no question what his "role" is. It is nothing and everything at the same time.

It is interesting to me that he actually seems to be developing into the next Tyrel Reed. Some will scoff at this notion, b/c they will still be viewing Tyrel by his old "role" as a 3-pt specialist. In the last few weeks though, Tyrel seems to really be blooming into the "do everything role" role player.

I'll go out on a limb and say that neither will turn into the team star, even if Coach Self does call Tyrel the face of the program - and yet is exactly it. Self's program is a lot less about stars, and a lot more about the "do everything role" role player. The fact that he would call Tyrel the face of the program goes to show just how much he appreciates the "do everything role" role player, and I'm glad to see Travis becoming the next face of the program.

jhox 11 years, 9 months ago

The thing is, I really believe Releford is a natural scorer. If we needed him to provide more points Self could take the leash off of him and he could do it. He was a natural scorer even before he developed a bit of a jump shot.

I've said it before here, and I'll say it again, I believe that the biggest mistake Self made 2 years ago was not playing Releford more as a freshman. We needed a third scorer badly on that team, and he could have been that guy if given the opportunity. He played only about 7 minutes per game, but translated out to 40 minutes his per game average would have been around 15.4 points. I think his points per minute would have been even greater if he had gotten more playing time. Sherron and Cole both averaged about a half a point per minute. Travis averaged just under .4 points per minute. The more someone is allowed to play, the more comfortable they're going to be with the speed of the game, and running the offense in general.

I could see Travis putting up some decent point per game numbers before he's done at KU.

YuCoJayHawk 11 years, 9 months ago

I missed the start of the game. Just curious if someone can tell me who the starting five were?

Ron Franklin 11 years, 9 months ago

reed, taylor, selby & the twins, my man.

this will be the starting line up going forward, imho.

TommySmithElbow 11 years, 9 months ago

Could be, but no way that Markieff starts the next game (qualifying as you did: "imho")

P.S. Like everyone else, love the avatar

Matt Kenton 11 years, 9 months ago

I think T Rob will start in place of 'Kieff. All they said was he wasn't at the game due to a death in the family.

AsadZ 11 years, 9 months ago

Taylor, Selby, Reed, Marcus and Mrkief

Ron Franklin 11 years, 9 months ago

agreed, TommySmithElbow....Markief looked like crap yesterday. I don't understand why he seems to have the "dumbest" fouls ever.....and consistently too.

Bill Horton 11 years, 9 months ago


Rule of thumb. First five listed in the box score are the starters.

keith horinek 11 years, 9 months ago

I'm disappointed that the twins did not get more minutes. they are and will be our mainstay for the remainder of the season, they should be getting the minutes regardless of their behavior. Messing with their playing time because they are aggressive and outspoken, IMO, is not a good thing at this point in the season. Let them play and polish their game so they will be ready for the big 12 season. I did like having selby, johnson and taylor on the floor at the same time. It shows when we go small we can be fast and deadly. Also, Whithey had a solid game, I like seeing his improvement throughout the season.

Theutus 11 years, 9 months ago

They aren't getting minutes because they are playing terrible, and reverting to their Freshman mindset of whining and complaining about everything on the court and committing stupid frustration fouls...

I don't know why they've had such a regression, but it's blatantly obvious.

DevilHawk 11 years, 9 months ago

They didn't get more minutes because they placed themselves in foul trouble.

KANSTUCKY 11 years, 9 months ago

Na na na, na na na. (ESPN) ...nice work Travis.

Jason Njoroge 11 years, 9 months ago

Actually his dunk was the #3 play on SportsCenter, Blake Griffin #2 and Nelson to Richardson was #1. However still awesome to see!! Great Job Releford!!

KU_FanSince75 11 years, 9 months ago

I had to call a window replacement company because when Travis did his dunk, he broke one of my windows in my house!

KuKain 11 years, 9 months ago

Man, is there no place online you can watch the Top 10?

ChicagoJHawk 11 years, 9 months ago


Do you have a clip of this dunk that you can post on here?

didjabuti 11 years, 9 months ago

It's not the top 10, but if you want to see the dunk, follow the link and watch the video on the right side.

KuKain 11 years, 9 months ago

It's in the Highlights of the game on the right side of the main page. It's just not the same, seeing that #1 on Sports Center is what I wanna see. Guess I just have to wait till I get home.

KUFan90 11 years, 9 months ago

You really need to see the ESPN highlights from the game as well. If you were watching the game on TV, you heard Greg Gurley compare Travis' dunk with Dominque Wilkins.

For those that didn't see it, ESPN ran with that, and did a sweet split screen side by side of Travis and Dominque doing the exact same dunk from the exact same camera angle. They were almost exact was awesome.

And then of course they wrapped up with Travis at #1 on best plays. Very cool.

jaybate 11 years, 9 months ago

Thank heavens he doesn't jump like it.

jaybate 11 years, 9 months ago

"Conservatory Students, Meet Mozart and Mook"

We are witnessing something beautiful with this team. Players are learning from each other, being inspired by each other, not being forced to get better just by competition (though there is plenty of that), but to do things they feared to do, or never thought of doing on a floor before, because their teammates are doing them.

Anyone who has played on the play grounds knows what this is about. There are certain guys that walk onto the half court of maker takes and do things in a way that makes even, very, very ordinary players feel they can do some of that $hit, too!

They usually can't , of course, but in trying, the discover what they can do.

Selby liberates Travis and EJ, and Coach Self, who though his Oklahoma red clay neck would suggest otherwise, loves this shiz. They could already do it, but being able to do it and seeing it done by someone else is the difference between imagining and getting permission.

And Selby and Travis and EJ liberate Tyrel. You see this in rock bands and orchestras and basketball teams, and teams in business, and platoons in the military. Every group needs leadership, that is written in stone. Every group needs teaching; that's "in-stone," too. But every group needs something else; they need a genius among them to give them permission to take whatever they can do to the next level.

They need permission.

Fathers give permission. Mothers can give son's the biggest permission of all. Teachers and coaches, too. Good generals. Good CEOs.

But there is no permission quite like the permission of genius.

Despite being an anal perfectionist and reputed digital tyrant with a life, not career, Steve "m!@#$%^&in'" Jobs gives permission to geek engineers like nobody's "m!@#$%^&in'" pencil-pocket-protecting business.

If you lie down with dogs, dear momma said, you get fleas.

If you lie down with Mozart, you learn music.

Not Brahams, not Beethoven. You can learn technique from those guys. But Mozart teaches you music. Chuck Berry didn't say roll over Mozart. Musicians recognize and respect crazy genius, probably more than anyone but mathematicians and basketball players. Mozart was a burning, white hot, permission-giving genius. He was/remains so freaking brilliant no one even tries to be better; they just feel freed up to make what they do its best.

Genius is permission to the rest of us.

jaybate 11 years, 9 months ago

Selby has Mozart in him, and some John Coltrane. Let us hope he has been spared the self-destructiveness of both.

Selby has the burning, often possessed look of genius, in this case basketball genius. His game comes down in sheets of rain, like Coltrane's sax riffs. But it exceeds even Coltrane in some ways. He really is more like Mozart. He is mercurial. He is laughing one minute and scowling maniacally the next. He is a live m!@#$%^&ing wire only kept from arcing to ground by his Addidas.

Selby has come to Bill Self's Basketball Conservatory to play his fiddle in a way that is dazzling both his teachers and his fellow conservatory students, and the students at this conservatory were no slouches to begin with.

If Self says score, Amadeus goes 5 for 8 from 3. If Self says get some strips and guard a big inside, even though you are 6'2", Wolfgang gets all over a big helping from behind and strips a few. If Self says get some assists, the next game Mozart goes out and gets 5 not even playing the point. Mozart is giving his fellow students at the conservatory permission to be great, to dream big, to play big, to go do it, because, what the hey, bros, this is just ballin', even if it is D1.

But this goes beyond Selby. He is just the stone cast in Potters Lake that ripples out in all directions.

Self, with Selby, as several posters intimated might happen, has tapped into the mother lode of team here, and of culture, too, and of why we go to be with other talented persons to play and work together, why there is synergy and innovation resulting from this process.

From the moment Josh Selby started doing what he does on the floor in games, what must have been happening at practice, when he practiced, started crossing the threshold into games and is slowly spreading among the players' play in games.

Shiz, even EJ, the wild-eyed colt just starting to get it all under control out on the point where every kid dreams of playing, now EJ wants to go play post!!

The basketball equivalent of LSD is loose on this team right now.

Regions of brains in each player are being flooded with new neural net connections they never thought possible before.

Like Mozart comes flying down the shellac one game and hook dunks like he's some kind of "m!@##$%^&*in" Optimus Prime in treads.

So Travis thinks, permission granted. If I miss, I pay, if I make I play. And while the child is being squeezed out of him at the conservatory, so that he can play his fiddle under control, he dips deep in the river of absurdity and dusts off his childhood tomahawk, the one that is probably deep in his blood from some Iroquis way back when John "m!@#$%^&n" Alden was trying to put the squeeze on Miss Pris, and he taps the ax handle on the glass one game for EJ to jam in his wake, and then weighs the pay-or-play calculus in a moment that is both now and eternity and says WTF! Speak some "m!@#$%^&in" Iroquois and Tomahawk the nut!!!

jaybate 11 years, 9 months ago

But it cuts both ways at The Self Conservatory of RImRam. No, make that it cuts every which "m123456678in" way.

Travis and EJ, and even "m!@#$%^&" Mozart are watching Tyrel runnin' The Naismith as fast as them, and NOT coughing up TOs faster than a Siamese on cracked sudafed, and they look around at Mozart, who is sayin' "Nothin' to "m!@#$%^&in" that!! I can do the Firm Grip thing as well as Dr. Protector, over there on second Stradim!@#$#%^%^&invarius, man."

So then permission is granted to serve and to protect like the pooooooooe-lice is supposed to be doin', but too often don't.

But as the Director and esteemed chief conductor of the conservatory would probably tell you, if he weren't so busy orchestrating "m!@#$$%^&&*" NEXT all the time, the big, and I mean huge head behind all this "m!@#$%^&in" emulatin' and transformin' and rewritin' and rearrangin' of what the orchestra be doin' is not Mozart, at all, but the Mook.

The Mook! you say?

But the Mook can't even hit the porcelin in the morning, he's so fouled up with doubles and tryin' to be da man.

Yeah, well, see, Mook is everybody's big brother, guardian-type "m!@#%$%^&*er" in this conservatory of impact and glue, not just Kieff's. Mook have the psychic broad shoulders. He have looked after a Twin that perhaps came down the pain slide no more than minutes before or after he did. Mook get it. Mook know somebody gotta stand big, even when he hisself ain't cuttin' it with the conductor. He know the band members gotta have some one to look around at, someone solid, some one whose smile and shrug say more than all the conductor's butt pats, to say, "shiz, go'on and do it--I'll look after yer ass," and actually look after'em when they go'an'do'it'an'blow'it, and when the conductor has them rossinin' up their bows on the stairmaster for failing at straddling the necessary and the beautifully extra.

jaybate 11 years, 9 months ago

Mook is rock, whether he havin' troubles or not.

And Mook is amazingly articulate, smart, and insightful about others.

Mook's problem is he is having to become that way about hisself in real time with the kliegs on him. Big brothers some times spend so much time learnin' how to look out for others that they skip a step. They forget to learn how to look out for themselves. Mook will learn this. Mook is learning this. It ain't easy. Not every big brother has to look out for a Mozart. But he'll shrug and learn to do it.

And its because Mook is Mook that this orchestra is able to pass into this heightened state of cross pollination.

Some bigs are such control freaks that they can't let their little brothers off the leash this much.

Mook does it naturally.

Mook is the musician who takes it all in and tries to look after everyone, even though he loses it now and then, and can struggle with his own bow sometimes because of it. Mook can't help hisself. There just are some natural born big brothers out there, as sure as there are some Mozarts and some permitted souls and some walk-ins to the Self Conservatory of Treble Cleft Basketball Notation. They are part of the rotation.

And, now, the Conductor resumes working on the score.


jaybate 11 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for letting me know you were serious. :-)

Steve Brown 11 years, 9 months ago

Bate, often your post are dribble this one actually connects. Nice.

I saw a tape of Mook, not on the broadcast reply, getting blindsided in the back top left shoulder with a punch while the opponent walked by him during the end of the timeout, M was standing near the FT line waiting the game to restart, then about 20 seconds later M'cus punched him in the jaw and got the T. It doesn't excuse the punch that he tried to make look random it is a teaching moment for the twins to watch over and over that opponents know who to get under their skin, no life isn't fair, beat them on the scoreboard not with silly fouls.

jaybate 11 years, 9 months ago

light, often your posts are dribble, this one actually connects.

I'll take it and try to keep getting better.

You try, too.

Rock Chalk!

jaybate 11 years, 9 months ago

Just kiddin'.

I pay or play just like everyone else. :-)


jaybate 11 years, 9 months ago

“He’s a good player. Travis is a good player — a good all-around player.” --Bill Self

Travis just got his citizenship; that's the highest accolade Self bestows.

He's one of the cornerstones now.

Joe Baker 11 years, 9 months ago

Did CS say Rel was a "good player"?

He's a regular Rembrandt on the court!!

HAWKTOPIA 11 years, 9 months ago

Ditto That! and lets not forget that brilliance is invasive, and the seed has been planted. the senses will come alive, meet you in Hawktopia

Ron Franklin 11 years, 9 months ago

Brady & Jaybate are my children. It really hurts my feelings when you talk about them so negatively.

I'm sure that whatever you have can be diagnosed by the DSM-V. Please seek assistance, because your contributions to this forum have become quite disorderly & maniacal.

jaybate 11 years, 9 months ago

jayhawkinnebr said he wanted me to post something short yesterday.

Here you go.

____ (this separation line is an homage to ralster)


How'z this:

STFU! (that is a coarse homage to Lebowski)

Seriously, keep posting, because every board rat here needs a punching bag to work out on at least once a week.

That is your role here--to be treated with disrespect and ridicule.

Live it.

We need everyone fulfilling their roles here, if we are to cheer this team onto the victories and glory that no team from Fizzou can even dream of.

Keep posting, you sniveling, disgusting, scum-oozing embarassment to morons. :-)

Now realize, I did not mean that for a second.

That was just my work out on you, the punching bag, for this week.

Rock Chalk!

Kurt Eskilson 11 years, 9 months ago

I must respectfully disagree. The poster in question endlessly repeats the same pointlessly negative rant with no finer intent than to incite response. He's the obnoxious, runty third-grader punching the kid next to him to get teacher's attention. Less than worthless.

jaybate 11 years, 9 months ago

Alright then Viking76, I will go back to:

jayhawkinnebr STFU! :-)

Its shorter anyway. :-)

Kurt Eskilson 11 years, 9 months ago

Yes, that I definitely agreed with. Succinctly put.

Ian Brown 11 years, 9 months ago

I posted this in Jaybate's photo blog titled "The Tomahawk," but I thought I would post it here as well, for I noticed some others had mistaken the two dunks. All in good fun, not trying to be a d-bag.

Jaybate, I hate to split hairs, nit pick, or be the guy to correct someone over something so trivial, especially someone as knowledgeable as you on the sport, but Releford's dunk was a windmill, not a tomahawk. I'm sure you're aware of the definition, but just to refresh your memory, I will give you the ibrownian definition of the tomahawk: a dunk in which the player cocks the rock (that sounds strange and dirty, but hilarious at the same time) behind his head and slams it with authority. And the ibrownian definition of the windmill: a dunk in which the player begins his ascension with the ball in front of his body near waist level*, and while in mid-air, slams the ball by rotating his arm(s) in a circular, windmill-like motion.



*Best Windmill Ever:

*-Releford began his near waist level, where most normal freakish athletes do. Vince Carter begins his near shoulder level while proceeding to spin 360 degrees in doing it.

I do this for one simple reason: I have a feeling, considering the athletes on our team, we may see more dunks of similar nature in the near future.

Also, I thought I'd throw in the following video just for kicks, for I came across it while searching for the previous examples. This is the closest I've seen anyone to dunking from the free-throw line in a game (It's a pretty good tomahawk as well):

Enjoy, and best regards. Rock Chalk.

jaybate 11 years, 9 months ago

See corrected paintograph in your honor. Thanks for the assist.

Ian Brown 11 years, 9 months ago

Here are the correct links to the aforementioned dunks. Apparently they didn't copy correctly:


Best Windmill Ever:

LBJ near free-throw line:

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