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I have complete faith in my coaches, my point guard, and my team. Everybody has a mountain to conquer and every mountain is different.
The people that love and support us, keep doing that. The people that hate and doubt us keep doing that too. We play for the both sides!
Message to the Kansas faithful... Remain faithful
The Jayhawk nation is in full effect!! I love the support for these guys. I see all the love! Wish I could RT every1. It will get better...
A reeling basketball team ranked No. 2 in the nation just two weeks ago didn’t climb all the way out of the abyss Saturday in the Noble Center, but it did scale high enough to see traces of its former image in the mirror.
Kansas didn’t perform like a No. 2 team it was or even up to the No. 5 ranking it carried into the week, but in a 72-66 loss to Oklahoma in the Noble Center, the Jayhawks looked a lot closer to those versions of themselves than to the shell-shocked bunch that lost three days earlier to last-place TCU in Fort Worth.
That’s not moral-victory talk — a language Kansas never learned — it’s reality.
“We hadn’t lost two in a row since 2006. Obviously three in a row is not good,” Self said. “This game today ... I am not leaving here disgusted with my team at all. It’s the same result on the scoreboard, but it was a much better performance today. Fans can think what they want to. This was not a major upset today,” he added after falling to the (15-7, 6-4) Sooners.
“The upsets were losing at home (to OSU) and at TCU. This was going to be a coin-flip game no matter what, especially catching an OU team that shot well.”
The Sooners, in fact, hit 55.6 percent of their shots the first half in building a 38-34 halftime lead. By game’s end, the percent mark had dipped to 44.8. However, the Sooners hit some huge long-range bombs when it counted down the stretch.
“They hit shots today. It was frustrating but what can you do? They made shots. That’s about it,” senior center Jeff Withey said after scoring 14 points and grabbing six rebounds.
…One negative on Saturday was free throw shooting. The Jayhawks, who hit 46.3 percent of their floor shots and five of 15 threes, made 11 of 20 free throws to OU’s 13 of 16.
“You don’t make your free throws on the road ... that was as big a reason we didn’t win the game as any,” Self said.
…“We need our fans,” Self added. “I am not one to beg very often. I am not begging now. Our team has been stung a little bit — 19-4 isn’t the worst record we’ve ever had at this stage. We’ve had a great year. We’ve had a crappy week, but we can still get it back. If we win Monday we’ll be tied for the league lead. If not we’ll be looking up and put ourselves in position it’ll be very hard to catch up.”
Add Cole Aldrich and Eric Chenowith to the list of former Kansas University big men offering congratulations to Jeff Withey for claiming the school’s all-time record for blocked shots.
Withey had one block in KU’s 72-66 loss to Oklahoma on Saturday in Noble Center, moving into a tie with Greg Ostertag as No. 1 human eraser in school history. Ostertag and Withey have 258 blocks; Aldrich 253.
The record-tying block came off a driving layup try by Andrew Fitzgerald at the 19:13 mark of the second half.
“I am so proud to have played for such a great school and loyal fans. It is with great pride that I congratulate Jeff on breaking the all-time block record,” Aldrich of the Houston Rockets wrote in an e-mail to the Journal-World.
“Jeff is a great guy and has been working so hard improving his game every day. Past and present players always hope to fill their chair with someone they can continue to watch and be proud of. Jeff has made it easy for me to do that,” Aldrich added. “I am so proud of all that the current team has done this season and am excited to continue watching their successes. I know I can count on our fans to cheer them on along the way. Let's raise another banner in the fieldhouse!” added Aldrich, who played at KU from 2008 to ‘10.
Chenowith, the No. 5 shot blocker in KU history, had 242 blocks from 1998 to 2001.
“It’s a testament to his hard work, the coaching staff working with him, everything. I’ve met him a couple times coming back for games,” Chenowith, a 7-footer from Villa Park, Calif., said of San Diego native Withey. “I’ve always pulled for him, being a Southern California kid. We always kind of pull for each other.”
KUAD: WBB post game stats, notes, photos
What began as a back-and-forth battle quickly turned into a nightmare for the Jayhawks, who fell to West Virginia, 72-56, on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.
Offense was a major struggle for the Jayhawks, who shot just 37 percent for the game — including 35 percent in the second half — scored just 28 points in each half and turned the ball over 15 times.
Most of the turnovers were unforced and came as a result of the Jayhawks simply throwing the ball into traffic and trying to make something out of nothing.
“We dribbled out of bounds, threw it out of bounds, dribbled off our foot, dribbled into ’em,” Henrickson recalled after the game. “... We stunk it up today.”
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Winners of the inaugural Naismith Student Section of the Year Award in 2012, the University of Kansas student section has advanced to the semifinal round of this year's contest with 15 other institutions vying for the top prize. Semifinal round voting, which has been reset to zero for the 16 semifinalists, is open through Feb. 22, 2013.
The top eight recipients from the semifinal round of public votes will be sent to the Naismith Awards Board of Selectors for a final vote. The Naismith Awards Board of Selectors will review criteria such as the student section's name and attendance, the total fan vote, as well as photos, video and a write-up submitted by the nominating school which will aid in determine the winning student section.
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Big 12/College News
There goes another one, and another one.
No. 3 Michigan, fifth-ranked Kansas and No. 11 Louisville all lost on Saturday, continuing a perilous stretch for the Top 25.
The Wolverines became the third top-three team to fall this week when Ben Brust hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with less than 40 seconds left in overtime, leading Wisconsin to a 65-62 victory. Brust also tied the game at the end of regulation with a heave from just inside halfcourt.
That's just the way it has gone lately for the top of the poll.
No. 2 Florida lost at Arkansas on Tuesday night, and No. 1 Indiana dropped a 74-72 decision at Illinois on Thursday. This should be the sixth straight week with a different No. 1 in The Associated Press' Top 25, which would be the second-longest streak since the first AP poll in 1949.
The Jayhawks have dropped three straight games for the first time in eight years after they lost 72-66 at Oklahoma.
"It hasn't been a good week for us by any stretch, but let's be real," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "We were ranked No. 2 in the country seven days ago, and you don't go from being a good team to a bad team overnight.
"We've had a couple of bad outings, but we're still a good team."
The current string of No. 1 swapping is the longest since 1994, when Arkansas, North Carolina, Kansas, UCLA and Duke alternated at the top seven straight weeks — the longest streak since Saint Louis debuted as No. 1 in the initial AP poll.
But it isn't just the teams at the top that are having trouble. Top 25 teams all over the country are getting knocked off by unranked opponents.
According to STATS LLC, Top 25 teams lost to unranked teams 36 times from Jan. 17 to Feb. 6 this season, most in at least 17 years.
Everyone had seen everything with Notre Dame and Louisville, programs interlocked in lunacy seemingly every time they shared the same floor. And then came a Saturday unlike any other for anyone involved in it, a dizzying redefinition of hoops insanity: Five overtimes, a 104-101 Irish victory, two programs again extending each other to preposterous lengths in every sense.
"I've never been a part of anything like that," Connaughton said, reclined against a locker room wall, his right leg propped up on three chairs and his ankle swathed in ice. "I've never been part of something where we could say we pretty much lost the game yesterday and won it today. That was something incredible."
The longest game a Notre Dame men's basketball team has ever played was the seventh game in the last 11 meetings between the Irish and Cardinals that required overtime. None bent the limits of belief like this.
Love him or hate him, a great read on Jay Williams from the NYT
Games on TV: Feb 4-10 schedule w/network info
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
RPI and SOS Team Comparison Calculator
The two men, whose relationship dates back to when Squires was Cherne’s coach at Bishop Carroll in the mid-1980s, parted ways in anger, with Cherne hurling an expletive over his shoulder at Squires when he walked away.
And it was still 10 minutes until tipoff.
So began a wild night at Kapaun — one with the two best teams in the City League, two furious rallies, a gym packed to the rafters with fans, a superstar player going back and forth with the opposing student section and two postgame incidents.
And at the heart of everything, there was North’s Conner Frankamp, scoring 43 points in another virtuoso performance that lifted the Redskins to a 67-61 win and improved their record to 14-2, 11-1 in the City League.
North has a three-game league lead with five to play.
“It was a huge game for us to get another game lead in the City League,” said Frankamp, who is signed to play for Kansas. “I thought it was a good game for myself and my teammates really played great defense, got some buckets when we really needed it.”
Frankamp started off his scoring with back-to-back three-pointers to give North a 15-8 lead — after the first, he turned to face the Kapaun student section, slowly shuffling as the fans screamed at him. After he hit the second, from about 25 feet with a defender in his face, he turned to the fans again.
North led 19-14 after the first quarter.
“I do let myself get motivated by some things, it was a big game,” Frankamp said.
…Kapaun led 41-33 before Frankamp heated up again, hitting back-to-back threes to cut the Crusaders’ lead to 41-39. With North trailing 51-44 with just under one minute left in the third quarter, Frankamp’s sixth three-pointer cut the lead to 51-47.
Frankamp then found a streaking Zach Beard for a layup as time expired to make the score 51-49 headed into the fourth quarter.
…Frankamp hit eight free throws over the final two minutes to seal the win.
After the game, things got a little crazy. Not late-90s-Korleone Young-is-going-to-beat-you-up-after-the-game crazy, but close. First, after the buzzer, Squires and Cherne met at midcourt and started woofing at each other again, and it seemed like at the moment they were getting ready to go their separate ways, North assistant Marty Frankamp, Conner’s dad, rolled up on Cherne with some choice words and some finger-wagging – inches from Cherne’s face. Squires and several other people separated Marty from Cherne at this moment, although to Cherne’s credit he sensed that things were getting out of hand – so did the police that came on the court – and he took off. I spoke to Cherne on the phone several hours later and he said the police were out there looking for Marty because of what I’m about to get to next and that there was no trash talk between the two sides, but this is false. If the police were looking for Marty at that moment, they would have grabbed him. At the same time this was happening, a separate group of officers was already in the hall outside the North locker room dealing with an incident that happened between Conner, Marty and North guard Trysten Villa during the game. I don’t want to get too much into this because I haven’t spoken with Marty to get his side, but I did speak with the Villas last night and they were very upset.
That’s all I got.
The fatigue that settled into North senior Conner Frankamp on Saturday night at Southeast manifested itself most in his legs.
His shot was off, always just a little short, and at the half he had nine points on 3-of-10 shooting.
“(Friday’s) game at Kapaun was a dogfight,” Frankamp said. “I played the whole game there, the whole game tonight. I got a second wind in the second half a little bit…. I told myself, ‘there’s only 16 minutes left in the second half. I can do that and get out of here.’ ”
Frankamp didn’t get hot offensively until North trailed by three heading into the final period. He scored all of the Redskins’ points in the period, including the game-winning shot with 2.8 seconds to go for a 59-57 win.
Frankamp finished with 31 points, hitting 4 of 4 three-pointers in the fourth quarter. He also had four rebounds, a steal and four blocked shots in the game.
…Southeast took a 46-43 lead into the fourth and Jordan Murdock, who scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half, gave the Buffaloes a 54-52 lead with 3:40 to go.
Frankamp, who scored 122 points in three games this week, answered with a three and Squires called time for a rest.
Two possessions later, North ran off about 50 seconds in a stall before Frankamp was fouled with 59.4 seconds to go. Frankamp hit both free throws.
Southeast tied the score at 57-all on a three-point play by DeQuan Love, and North ran off about 32 seconds and then gave the ball to Frankamp for good.
He prefers to have the ball in his hands and the pressure of taking the winning shot.
“I love those last shots,” Frankamp said. “To get those opportunities is great. I got a good look and knocked it down.”
…North (15-2, 12-1 City League) clinched a share of the league title, leading by three games with three remaining.
Tift County forward Brannen Greene is a Division I signee — he’s going to Kansas next year — and junior point guard Tadric Jackson could be one next year. On Saturday, they were difference makers for Tift. Jackson scored 22 points, while Greene had 18. The rest of their team combined for just 23 points.
Three minutes into the game, Tift went on an 8-0 run, and took a 12-4 lead. That run helped TCHS build a seven-point lead, 16-9, at the end of one quarter.
Then Tift dominated the second quarter, and built a big halftime lead. Jackson started the period with a couple of baskets. Valdosta’s Clarence Smith made two free throws, but then Jackson converted a three-point play. A couple of minutes later, Jackson made a free throw and Smith answered with two free throws. Then in a span of 50 seconds, Greene drained a three-pointer, Ladarius Stewart scored on a putback and Jackson stole the ball twice and sprinted down the court for a dunk both times. The next two times Tift got the ball, Stewart made a basket and Greene hit another three-pointer. Valdosta did not make a field goal in the second quarter until Colin Kirkpatrick hit a jumper in the final minute of the period.
Tift outscored Valdosta 22-6 in the second quarter, and built a 38-15 halftime lead.
…Tift will be the No. 1 seed in the Region 1 tournament this week at VHS. Valdosta will be the No. 2 seed.
The next two weeks will be big on the recruiting front for Texas, hosting prized recruit Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian/Plano, Tex.) this weekend. Randle, the 6-foot-9 power forward, is ranked as the second-best player in the Class of 2013, according to Rivals.com. Besides Texas, Kentucky, Florida, Kansas and N.C. State are all in the running to land Randle.
While Texas has the Prestonwood Christian forward on campus this weekend, Randle will visit Kansas the following week, when the Jayhawks host Texas. In a span of eight days, Randle will watch Texas play twice.
In a down year for Texas, the Longhorns can score in the month of February and impress Randle, who is currently out with a foot injury. Texas only has one commit for the Class of 2013 — three-star point guard Isaiah Taylor (The Village School/Houston, Tex.).
Rashad Vaughn is one of those blue chippers. Every high power college program has an interest in the Robbinsdale Cooper junior.
It’s difficult to believe when you watch him, but growing up, Rashad Vaughn was not the star of the team.
“I just started working hard and started seeing stuff that was going to happen,” Vaughn said.
He’s now being courted across the country by so many top programs, he can’t even keep up.
“Baylor, Kentucky, Louisville, Kansas, the Gophers, Iowa State, Florida, Texas…I mean, I can’t think of them all now,” he said.
…But his basketball career and his season has a motivation beyond his own future. It’s about the past.
“I was in the gym working out and got that call, man. One of the worst days,” he said.
That was the day his teammate and friend, Kalonyea Wopea, collapsed while playing basketball at the Y last year. He died of heart failure, leaving behind a loving family and group of teammates who carry his memory. Vaughn wears a t-shirt and button to remind him, and to push himself.
“We always, before a game, have a moment of silence,” he said. “I just keep wearing his shirt and carrying his legacy on.”
Maybe the greatest tribute he can pay him is to keep playing, keep moving forward, and maybe someday a dream will be realized.
“The goal’s just, you know, get to the NBA. So that’s the dream, that’s the goal. That’s what I want to do,” Vaughn said.
CBS Minnesota (Video at link)
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