KU AD: Texas A&M pregame notes
KU AD: Video/transcripts Coach Self & players on the Aggies
Kansas University basketball veterans Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson braced themselves for a barrage of questions from a larger-than-normal contingent of media members before practice Monday in Allen Fieldhouse.
“We kind of prepared ourselves when we walked out here. We figured it’d be all Missouri questions,” Taylor, KU’s senior point guard, said amid a backdrop of about a hundred students representing groups camping out for Saturday’s 3 p.m. home game against Missouri.
“It’s understandable. Everybody is excited about it. We’ve got to take care of business Wednesday. I’m thinking about it, too, but I can’t look past Texas A&M at all. They are a good team that could definitely beat us,” Taylor added.
…Taylor, who recently told coach Bill Self he’d been a bit worn down, says he’s energized for the pre-Missouri match-up against the Aggies.
“That was good. I think I needed that,” Taylor said of playing just 27 minutes in Saturday’s 83-50 rout of Texas Tech. “We had a day off after that, too. That helped. I feel good now. I’m a little nicked up, a little banged up like any player this time of the season. It’s been a long season. I’ve played a lot of minutes. We get after it at practice. There’s a lot of wear and tear on the body, but I feel good. I’m excited. This is a really big week for us.”
…Self on Monday’s “Hawk Talk” radio show invited fans to purchase “Kansas Operation: Victory” T-shirts. The shirts, being sold at kustore.com according to the website, “celebrates the rich tradition of Jayhawks victories over Missouri since 1854.”
“We will sell a lot of them — 15,000, 20,000 of them. We sold 8,000 last week,” Self said. “The profits we make through the athletic department will go to charities in our area that promote relief for our soldiers who have given so much overseas and in combat, people that have sacrificed so much for us. If you want to wear blue to the game, wear that one. It’d be cool.
“It’s something we thought we could do three weeks ago to raise funds for an important cause and give our fans a shirt to like. This is obviously the last time,” he added, referring to the end of the Border War rivalry’s coming to an end after this season.
The website “Bovada.lv” has released college basketball player-of-the-year odds, and Kansas University forward Thomas Robinson (7/4) is the slight favorite over Kentucky’s Anthony Davis (2/1), who is way ahead of Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger (13/2).
All of which at the moment means nothing to Robinson, an athlete locked in enough to know the only way to get it done is to train his focus on the next opponent and all the details that go into defeating it.
In this case, that’s Texas A&M on Wednesday in College Station. The Aggies’ season has been fraught with injuries, illness and embarrassing losses.
Even so, they’re getting better. Their last three home games: three-point loss to Baylor, two-point loss to Texas, nine-point loss to Missouri.
Khris Middleton, A&M’s most accomplished player, returned for Saturday’s Missouri game from his second knee-caused inactive stretch. Without Middleton, the Aggies were a tough out for Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse, where KU won, 64-54.
“We’ve got to play tougher than the first time,” Robinson said before Monday’s practice. “We were not only struggling, but if I remember right, we were down in the first half.”
Robinson remembered right. A&M took a 30-28 lead into the locker room.
“They’re going to be a much better team now,” Robinson said. “We have to go down there prepared with our minds right.”
First-year coach Billy Kennedy is continuing where predecessors Mark Turgeon and Billy Gillispie left off when it comes to A&M’s calling card. The Aggies play hard defense and run a patient offense.
“We have to understand that it will be a low-possession game and try to grind it out,” Taylor said.
All the while not thinking about Missouri, which was difficult to do Monday.
As players conducted interviews, Kansas students lined the corridor walls inside Allen Fieldhouse, taking their positions to be the first ones in the seats Saturday for a Border War that will be the final regular-season game between the rivals as members of the same conference.
But there will be time to talk about that later, said Self, who is confident heads will be in the right place.
“We will not mention Missouri except to tell them we’re not mentioning Missouri,” Self said, “until after the game, and then we can talk about it all we want to.
“Out of fairness to them and all their hard work and effort they put in, it would be such a disservice to allow them to look past what is just as meaningful as Saturday.”
The roll call started inside Allen Fieldhouse on Monday afternoon and students dutifully announced their presence.
Some sat on folding chairs, others had unrolled sleeping bags, while the most comfortable had splurged for air mattresses.
Thomas Robinson looked across the sea of classmates and smiled.
"I didn't even notice them," Kansas' star forward said jokingly.
The fourth-ranked Jayhawks were beginning preparations for Wednesday night's game at Texas A&M, and what shapes up as the biggest week of the season. Kansas welcomes third-ranked Missouri to the Phog on Saturday, the final regular-season meeting before the Tigers head to the SEC.
"The Missouri game is two games away," Robinson said with an even voice. "We've still got the A&M game, so I'm not even thinking about Missouri."
The Tigers are facing a similar predicament this week. They host Kansas State on Tuesday before turning their attention to the Jayhawks.
A loss by either team could take a bit of pizazz out of perhaps the most compelling regular-season game since the Big 12's inception -- certainly in the history of a bitter rivalry -- and one that could ultimately decide the regular-season conference championship.
…"Coach Self emphasizes that you can't look ahead," Taylor said, "because especially this year in college basketball, teams are losing on the road a lot, and there's been a lot of upsets."
Missouri hasn't lost since that night in Stillwater, while Kansas has been perfect since its late-minute meltdown in Columbia. Both teams have distanced themselves from the remainder of the league, in the process building resumes befitting a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Bill Self, Kansas Jayhawks Think about the talent he lost from a year ago. The Morris Twins, Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed, Josh Selby. The beat just kept on going for the Jayhawks and they are pushing for an eighth straight Big 12 title.
There are my top 10, all in the hunt for the honor. They deserve a lot of respect for a job well done. I know you could talk about a few others, as it has been a super season on the sidelines, baby!
Dick Vitale Top 10 Candidates for COY
No one projected Kansas to be this good. My vote today for Coach of the Year goes to Bill Self of Kansas. He lost the Morris Twins, Brady Morningstar, Tyrell Reed and Josh Selby. Thomas Robinson averaged 14 minutes a game last season and now he is a national Player of the Year contender. I give the Jayhawks a lot of credit for being right there in the Big 12 once again. This is a program that has won or shared the conference regular-season title for seven straight seasons. Also, is there big man in the nation that has improved as much as Jeff Withey of Kansas?
Dick Vitate Roundball Chatter
LJW: Jayhawks in the NBA - Marcus Morris recalled from D-League, Aldrich gets some minutes
Former Kansas University men’s basketball player Al Correll, a captain of the 1963-64 Jayhawk team, died on Saturday in Tacoma, Wash.
Correll was a retired Human Relations Director for the city of Tacoma. Previously he had served in a similar capacity in Des Moines, Iowa and Topeka.
Correll, who played for KU head coach Dick Harp from 1962-64, holds the Jayhawk school record for free-throw shooting percentage for a season, hitting 90 percent in 1964. The 6-foot-3 guard was among a group of outstanding athletes from Philadelphia who played at Kansas, including Wilt Chamberlain and Wayne Hightower and later Marcus and Markieff Morris.
After graduation he joined Max Falkenstien on the KU and K-State radio broadcasts.
For his career, he averaged 8.5 points and 4.6 rebounds a game.
Correll worked in the field of civil rights for 33 years. After graduating from KU, he studied at Washburn University and at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. He received numerous awards for his service and was a consultant to the White House on civil rights enforcement.
Correll is survived by his wife Ruth, son Brian, and daughter Carla.
The students sometimes don’t realize how lucky they are. As a blue-blood program, the demand for tickets inside Allen Fieldhouse is always high, but Kansas rewards 4,000 seats (24.5 percent) to its students at one of the best spots in the venue. Kansas could easily follow Kentucky’s example, where a majority of Rupp Arena’s student section is far from the action, giving the premium seats to high-paying donors.
When the cheapest listing on StubHub.com for Saturday’s game is $450 a corner ticket, there’s no reason to complain about student section seats.
Feb. 25 could be one of the most memorable days in the history of Allen Fieldhouse, and students should keep that in mind rather than argue over camping groups.
VOTE for the Kansas Jayhawks student section (Purdue in 1st place? What? VOTE!)
VOTE for Coach Self's Assists Foundation (C'mon people, he's losing to Sean Miller and Dave Rose!) Voting ends 2/27 Rose 33%, Miller 15% Self 8%
Coaches vs Cancer: Help Coach Self raise $ for ACA with his 3-point Attack
Kansas Athletics is excited to partner with Wayin, to run a five-day contest leading up to the Border Showdown contest in men's basketball against Missouri. Who wouldn't want to win a signed basketball by the 2011-2012 KU basketball team? Well now is your chance!
The contest will be hosted through the KU Athletics facebook page (at Facebook.com/KUathletics) and will run from Sunday, Feb.19 at noon until Friday, Feb. 24 at noon. This contest will consist of fifty trivia questions (ten per day) and cover five different categories: KU/MU history, player trivia, coaches trivia, Allen Fieldhouse trivia, and random history. Be one of the top three people on the leaderboard to win the grand prize! Test your knowledge and Wayin on the Jayhawks!" Sign up at Wayin.com using Facebook connect to register or go to Facebook.com/KUathletics on Sunday and register through the "Wayin on the Jayhawks" tab.
Angel Goodrich has a chance to set the Kansas University women’s basketball single-season assist record during the Jayhawks’ road game against Texas Tech at 7 tonight.
Just don’t expect her to make a big fuss if she does.
“Like I’ve said before, I don’t really care about records. I just care about the outcome of the games,” Goodrich said. “I just give thanks to my teammates, because I wouldn’t be able to have assists if they didn’t make the shots. Without them, I wouldn’t be really making a record.”
With four games left in the regular season, Goodrich already has recorded 200 assists, which is just seven behind Lisa Braddy’s school record of 207 assists set in 1988.
Big 12/College News
Big 12 Schedule & Results
Now, it's the Tigers' task to protect that territory.
And while No. 4 Kansas remains a serious challenger for a top seed, the Tigers can't allow themselves to look ahead to Saturday's rematch in Lawrence. Not after Kansas State held Mizzou to 33 percent shooting and outrebounded the Tigers 39-25 in the first meeting, which ended 75-59.
"I don't think this team has (looked ahead) all this year," Haith said. "I'm proud of how they have stayed focused. We understand, no doubt, Kansas State can whip us like they did in Manhattan if we're not ready to play. They're the type of team that can take us out and be very physical with us."
Mizzou has a short turnaround after playing Saturday at Texas A&M. That leaves little time for guard Matt Pressey to recover from an ankle injury suffered at A&M.
St Louis PD
Baylor forward Quincy Acy had his way with Texas' front line Monday night. The 6-foot-7, 235-pound senior finished the night with 22 points and 16 rebounds, and did so with constant effort and energy on both ends of the court.
Acy grabbed important rebound after important rebound in the second half as Baylor came back from a 12-point deficit to win 77-72.
Every time Texas did enough on defense to force a Baylor missed shot, Acy seemed to be there ripping the ball away from Texas' big men. Clint Chapman, Alexis Wangmne, Jonathan Holmes, Jaylen Bond. It didn't matter. Acy looked like a man among boys against Texas' bigs.
The Longhorns had put to bed the notion that they couldn't get the job done on the glass this season, but Acy dominated.
“I don’t think there’s any question that 15-20 mid major teams could reach the Sweet 16 this year and that’s a result of how much parity there is in college basketball,” Fraschilla said.
The image of Illinois center Meyers Leonard crying on the bench at the end of a shockingly one-sided loss at Nebraska has made the rounds and become something of a symbol of the team's slide.
After five consecutive losses, and eight in nine games, coach Bruce Weber no longer can tell the Illini they are an NCAA Tournament team. They are off the bubble.
A week of intense pressure, including talk that Weber is likely to be fired, ended with the unthinkable. A new week opens with a trip to No. 8 Ohio State tonight.
"He had tears in his eyes during the game," Weber said of Leonard. "He's a young kid and very emotional. His whole thing is he cared so much he was disappointed he couldn't help the team be successful and it all took a toll. I told the team I don't want any more tears until the end of the season. We have to go play."
Weber said after the Nebraska game that the pressure had dissipated. The Illini (16-11 overall, 5-9 in the Big Ten) no longer are expected to make the tournament field barring a late and significant turnaround.
St Louis PD
The Atlantic Coast Conference has publicly reprimanded game official Karl Hess for failing to follow procedure when ejecting two former North Carolina State stars from the stands during a weekend game.
In a statement Monday night, the ACC said it had conducted a "thorough review" of the events leading up to Hess' ejections of ex-Wolfpack standouts Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani from seats behind the scorer's table during Saturday's 76-62 loss to Florida State.
ACC statements after the game said officials have the authority to ask the home team's management to remove fans when, in the official's judgment, their behavior is extreme or excessive.
After Hess gestured to have Gugliotta and Corchiani removed, they were approached by an officer from the Raleigh Police Department.
"Karl Hess is one of the best on-court officials in college basketball, but the ACC has established a game management protocol, which allows the opportunity to potentially diffuse any situations before they reach the level of ejection," ACC commissioner John Swofford said in the statement. "His reprimand is a result of a failure to follow that protocol."
Brewster Academy head coach Jason Smith said he had never seen 1,500 people crammed into a gym to watch a basketball game.
“I understand it was a game between two of the top four (prep school) teams in the country and it was on a holiday,” said Smith. “But we're still talking about a Monday afternoon and the atmosphere was unbelievable.”
The teams didn't disappoint as Joe Bramanti's steal with 19 seconds left sealed a 60-56 victory for undefeated Brewster against in-state rival Tilton School in Wolfeboro Monday.
Aaron Thomas, a 6-5 senior guard who will be attending Florida State, led the winners with 19 points and teammate Jakarr Sampson, a 6-8 forward who is still mulling offers, according to Smith, from Florida, Louisville, Kansas, Providence and St. John's, added 11 points (all in the second half) with 14 rebounds.
For Tilton, Georges Niang, a 6-7 power forward who will attend Iowa State, scored a game-high 32 points, 16 points in each half. Nerlens Noel, a 6-10 center, who, according to Smith is mulling offers from Kentucky and Syracuse, was held to eight points.
…Smith said Sampson is projected to be the “best shot blocker since Patrick Ewing. I would not be shocked if he had a 10-to-15-year pro career. He definitely can dominate a game.”
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