KUAD: Box score, recap, videos, photos
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VIDEO: ESPN game highlights
VIDEO: ESPN KU Student-Manager checks in
VIDEO: ESPN breaks down Devonte Graham’s performance
2/21/15, 7:35 PM
Devonte Graham is 10-for-10 from the field in his career against TCU #kubball
2/21/15, 7:37 PM
Always a good time in THE Fieldhouse! #KUCMB
2/21/15, 10:36 PM
Huge S/O to my boy"Scarecrow" @C_Huey24 Amazing story. Im glad he had a chance to suit up in todays game for @KUHoops
Immediately after the WVU game, Ellis revealed to loved ones that he felt like he’d let the team down. Fonda said her message to him was simple: One shot did not lose the game for KU.
“He cares,” Fonda said. “Somebody said he felt bad because he cares so much. He wants to win.”
Ellis’ response was about as good as KU could have hoped for — and also included some rarely seen emotion.
After one second-half play where he pivoted a few times before putting in a turn-around jumper with a foul, Ellis made a hand-signal like a blender — the nickname teammates have given him because of his array of post moves.
Ellis said it was the first time he’d ever celebrated a post move with a gesture.
“I did a little mix,” Ellis said with a smile while moving his hands in a circular motion. “ … It got the teammates excited to see me do that.”
Later, following his alley-oop dunk, Ellis let out a smile when teammate Devonte’ Graham came over to chest-bump him.
Ellis did a terrific job of posting up against the Horned Frogs and Devonté Graham did a nice job of finding him early. But then for a long stretch in the first half, teammates didn’t get him the ball.
“I mean, I was just trying to post hard, it was a little frustrating,” Ellis said. “I just kept trying to post hard and get good position. My teammates, they were looking for me, though, the whole game. They were talking to me saying, ‘Keep posting hard. We see you.’ That kept me motivated.”
At one point, when Ellis was at the free-throw line for a shot, a voice from the stands broke the silence: “Keep feeding the post!”
The Jayhawks did and there was no stopping Ellis. He made nine of 10 shots from the field and had four dunks.
The chants started slowly, echoing out from the front rows of the Allen Fieldhouse student section in the final minutes of the second half. Moments later, it began to pick up — more audible, more clear.
The Kansas Jayhawks were still on the floor, finishing off an 81-72 victory over TCU on Saturday afternoon. In the middle of the action, junior forward Perry Ellis was presumably still wiping a sly smile off his face after awakening the old barn with a thunderous stretch in the waning minutes.
“The fieldhouse went crazy,” Kansas forward Jamari Traylor said.
…In some ways, redemption was the theme of the afternoon. Freshman guard Devonte’ Graham added a career-high 20 points, just days after admitting that his recent play had been “pretty bad.” Graham, who scored just 15 points in the Jayhawks’ last seven games, was a perfect seven of seven from the floor.
“It was all about mindset for me today,” Graham said. “I just tried to get in the paint and make plays for my teammates. I was more aggressive than I have been.”
It was a message that Self would like his whole team to internalize during the final weeks of the Big 12 season.
Normally when I watch Perry Ellis dominate for the Jayhawks, I'm most surprised with how effortless he can make the game appear.
Saturday, behind some monster dunks, he wasn't so subtle. The 23 points and 7 rebounds against Baylor felt like a statement. A statement to all those folks out there that seem to under value just how good the former Wichita Heights star really is.
This is my first season to watch Ellis up close and personal, and I could not be more impressed. That's why when I see all the critics come out on social media and elsewhere regarding Ellis, I just don't get it. It's been a quandary to me for longer than the West Virginia game just to be clear, and I'm not suggesting zero criticism go to Ellis on that final miss in that game. But that's all it was. One miss in a big spotlight Monday night.
I know that critics somehow find the larger microphones, especially in social media. I assume the large majority of KU fans understand Ellis is one of the best players in the country. I assume, because to me he is easily that.
I see a guy that does and says all the right things, plays the right way, and puts up numbers 99% of players dream about. Those are the kinds of players I root for. If the highlight dunks keep coming like they did against TCU... there will be some quickly converted critics.
Before Graham checked in with 15 minutes left in the first half, the Jayhawks were down 8-4 to the Horned Frogs. Graham scored 11 points and gave Kansas an early 35-29 lead going into the break.
“We had some starters that really didn’t produce,” Self said. “We needed our bench to be good, but we don’t win the game without Devonte’.”
The surprise of the game was the bench responding well to the struggling starters and scored 37 points— 31 more points than the bench scored against West Virginia.
The key was Devonte’ Graham. He scored a career-high 20 points off the bench and went prefect from the field (7-for-7). Graham said the 100 percent shooting percentage was luck.
“There are definitely some things that I still need to fix; I haven’t been shooting the ball well,” Graham said. “I am just glad that I made shots and able to help the team.”
The key to the radical turnaround?
“Haircut. There’s no question. He was prepared. He got it trimmed yesterday or whenever,” KU coach Bill Self said after the 6-foot-2 freshman point guard from Raleigh, North Carolina went 7-for-7 from the field, 2-of-2 from three-point land and four of six from the free throw line.
“Perry (Ellis, 23 points) was great, but Devonté won the game for us. I wish he got his hair cut a long time ago. It may have worked out better,” Self added, smiling.
The best moment of Chris Huey’s college life began with a couple of white lies.
First, the KU basketball coaching staff told Huey, a senior manager from Kansas City, Kan., that he would need to become NCAA-eligible to work as an intern in the KU basketball office. Then the Jayhawks’ trainer told Huey that he would need a physical exam to run on the KU scout team, which he often did during practices at Allen Fieldhouse.
None of this was true, of course. And even when one of Huey’s roommates became a little suspicious, Huey never really imagined he might be suiting up for an actual game.
“I didn’t really believe it,” said Huey, a graduate of Bishop Ward, “because I didn’t think it was a possibility.”
That changed on Thursday, when Kansas coach Bill Self revealed the secret plan. Because Huey, a 6-foot-7 former high school player, had spent the season as the honorary fifth member of KU’s scout team, spending time on the practice floor each day, Self wanted to reward him by suiting him up Saturday against TCU.
“I knew it’d mean a lot to him, growing up in Kansas City,” Self said, “and certainly, I think it’d mean a lot to his family.”
Self and KU kept the gesture quiet until Saturday, but staffers spent the week finding Huey the proper gear and adding him to the official roster, which took a little bit of paperwork.
On Thursday night, Huey called his mother, Joanne, telling her, “You might want to sit down — but it’s all good.”
Sitting behind the Kansas bench along with Huey’s family were another group of fans in similar shock. In matching, and quickly tailored, Huey No. 23 KU jerseys, some of the senior’s closest friends watched in awe as the final moments of Saturday’s contest played out. Neal Stineman, a former KU manager who was hired at the same time as Huey, was one of one of them.
On Friday night Stineman realized he couldn’t miss the opportunity to see his friend suit up and drove from his Minnesota home throughout the night to get to Allen Fieldhouse in time for tipoff.
“It’s indescribable,” Stineman said. “I was talking to him before the game and he said he couldn’t feel his legs. I don’t think he ever imagined he’d be playing in Allen Fieldhouse.”
Huey walked onto the floor with less than a minute left in the game and the Jayhawks sporting an 11-point lead. He did his best to add to the total. After diving for a loose ball, Huey streaked through the lane and nearly knocked down a contested layup.
It was the only shot attempt he could manage.
“He could’ve definitely finished at the basket a little bit better,” Kansas forward Jamari Traylor said with a smile. “But he did a great job getting on the floor. That’ll be impressive to coach (Self).”
Unfortunately for Huey, it will not earn him any more minutes. Self said this was a one-time deal. There won’t be any senior night speech or pop-up videos.
Huey returns to his day job Sunday.
“It was just different to be on the other side of things,” Huey said. “I’m so used to being out there passing and doing my normal managerial duties, but it was awesome. I actually felt really comfortable.”
With 14 seconds to go and KU leading 81-72, Huey got the rock and cut hard to the right side of the lane, soaring in for what appeared to be a clean layup.
"A lot of juice, definitely a lot of juice," the manager cracked after the game. "If I could have jumped, I would. My legs were just shaking. My legs were just dead."
Alas, the ball went up too high off his hands, missing hard off the backboard.
"Stuff like this doesn't happen that often," teammate Jamari Traylor said. "I wish he'd made that shot so bad."
In the movie version, it bounces in. And in his head -- and in the heads of a lot of student staffers who have probably wanted to live the same dream -- it'll feel like a basket.
Now. Forever. Always.
"Even (when you aren't) a player, the crowd is amazing," Huey said. "But that's the best feeling I've ever had."
Fox Sports Keeler
He explained his thought process on the missed layup, with the Jayhawks acting as if they were content on running out the clock on the victory.
“I heard their coach saying they weren’t going to foul, so I went to the basket,” Huey said. “I knew the kid (defender) was going to play off and try to block it from behind. I leaned back into him and leaned forward to shoot it and I shot it too strong.”
The miss didn’t matter. What did was the opportunity.
“He practices every day in 5-on-5 drills, has to go against Jamari (Traylor), Perry (Ellis), ‘Lando’ (Lucas), Cliff (Alexander). He had to get stitches from being elbowed. He works hard. He deserves to be out there,” said guard Devonté Graham.
“He helps us out so much, the things he does. It was great to see him out there,” noted forward Ellis.
…Huey said he might want to get into coaching or scouting as a career.
“I’m trying to enjoy this year and take everything as it comes. It all goes by so fast,” Huey said. “More importantly (than him playing), we won and hopefully we can win a Big 12 championship. That’s what I care about more than this.”
…KU coach Self confirmed after the game that junior Evan Manning is on scholarship this semester. ... KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger, associate AD Jim Marchiony and former KU athlete Gary Padgett will represent KU today at Dean Smith’s Memorial Service in North Carolina.
“The last three years I've been here, he's cleared his bench with about 10 (minutes) to go,” said Johnson of KU coach Bill Self and TCU's Lawrence losses of 30 and 26 points during the past two seasons. “That's how I look at it.”
There was no bench-clearing formality on Saturday, save for Self inserting manager Chris Huey into his first and only game as a Jayhawk with 35 seconds to play. Instead, there were big buckets, tough rebounds, hard fouls and strong runs. And a few of them even came from Johnson's troops, who out-rebounded Kansas 33-29, won the turnover battle 14-13 and even made more three-pointers (5-4).
“That's probably about as good as we've played on the road,” Johnson said. “For us to be in this position, where we had a chance down the stretch, it speaks volumes.”
TCU's game plan on Saturday was simple: Keep the pace slow by emphasizing half-court offense and defense and fight like mad when the Jayhawk-sized tidal waves came.
…“Our program, our team, is not there yet,” Johnson said. “Let's just be honest about it. But we played 'em tough at home.”
Added Zeigler: “This is one of the toughest places in the country to play, but we felt like we were in the game for the part.”
ESPN’s “College GameDay” is returning to Kansas — and the show is touring half the state.
“GameDay” — ESPN’s weekly college hoops program and traveling circus — will broadcast from Wichita’s Koch Arena next Saturday, before Wichita State’s game against Northern Iowa, before picking up and heading to Lawrence for Kansas’ home game against Texas.
The Jayhawks’ game against Texas tips off at 4 p.m., and according to ESPN’s announcement, the “GameDay” crew will broadcast from Allen Fieldhouse at 3 p.m.
Wichita State and Northern Iowa are set to tip at 1 p.m., with the morning “GameDay” program beginning from Koch Arena at 10 a.m.
Was thinking today that #KUbball seems to play a lot more Sat./Mon games than any other #Big12 team bc of TV so decided to run #'s
Thomas Robinson will complete his buyout with the Nuggets on Sunday, and he has already had discussions with the Hornets, Heat, Spurs, Nets and Suns.
“Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!