January 29: News Headlines Digest

  • Also see our Daily Threads, January 29, and the News Digest for Yesterday, January 28, as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday, January 28


    ##Newell: Double trouble? KU basketball, Joel Embiid still learning how to deal with trapping defenses##

    LAWRENCE — The double-teams in the post are coming. Kansas saw them last time against Iowa State, and besides that, the Jayhawks have seen them from nearly every Big 12 opponent.

    That means KU coach Bill Self has been preaching a simple message to his big men in practice before Wednesday’s 8 p.m. home contest against 16th-ranked ISU.

    ###Dodd: Frontcourt depth is a strength for Kansas###

    LAWRENCE — It’s Tuesday afternoon inside Allen Fieldhouse, one day before No. 6 Kansas will play host to No. 16 Iowa State, and KU coach Bill Self is telling you that Landen Lucas is the best fifth big man on any team in America.

    “There’s nobody else that has a fifth guy like Landen,” Self says.

    ###Newell: Tarik Black ‘questionable’ for Iowa State game; Andrew Wiggins wins national award###

    LAWRENCE — KU forward Tarik Black is still being held back by a sprained right ankle suffered in Jan. 20’s home game against Baylor.

    “He’s made progress, but it’s still not great. We’ve got to see today,”Self said Tuesday. “Yesterday he practiced and went through everything, but he was still probably only 50, 60 percent. We’re hopeful that he’s available to us Wednesday, but as of right now, he’s still questionable for the game."

    ###Bedore: Jayhawks move focus to next slice of Big 12 schedule###

    Off to a 6-0 start in Big 12 Conference play for the third straight season and sixth time in the 11-year Bill Self era, Kansas University’s basketball team now moves on to the next portion of the 18-game schedule…

    ####Help your children fulfill their Embiid potential####

    Also see our Daily Threads, January 29, and the News Digest for Yesterday, January 28, as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday, January 28

  • Had a great time at the Pete Maravich Center watching LSU help KU gain a game in the all time victory list by defeating Kentucky, provided we win tonight that is.(we’ll be within 7 according to someone here the other day). Kentucky has a lot of raw talent obviously, but LSU is fairly experienced and their bigs are quite athletic. This led to a pretty good defensive effort, a lot of blocked shots. Randle had a tough game but would have looked good in a KU uniform. Lots of Kentucky fans there just like KU fans show up at non sold out arenas, but they were very quiet. 22-6 deficits will shut those loud mouths up.

    I wore my 08 championship T-Shirt. If I’d had the chance I would have asked Calipari to autograph it!

    I attended the game with a good friend who is a Youngstown St. grad. He saw the name of Calipari’s assistant John Robic who he recognized because John had been the head coach at Youngstown. It turns out he was Larry Brown’s assistant for two seasons including the championship. I don’t pay attention to assistant coaches apparently because I have no memory of him. Of course with Calipari at KU as an assistant a couple years previously, and it turns out Greg Popovich as an unpaid grad assistant in '86, Larry sure assembled some coaching talent during his years on campus.

    If someone could tell me how to insert a picture here, I will.

  • @wissoxfan83

    “I wore my 08 championship T-Shirt. If I’d had the chance I would have asked Calipari to autograph it!”


    “If someone could tell me how to insert a picture here, I will”

    Just drag and drop it in your reply box. Then wait just a second as it uploads before hitting your submit button.

  • @wissoxfan83 lsu game.jpg

    The guy in the KU hat, Championship T and KU sweatshirt in my lap (you think I want to see KU play in person again!) with an arrow pointing is me! Nice seats huh?

  • @wissoxfan83 Thought of you during that first half run. Great seats.

    Which is worse – UK losing to LSU or Baylor losing to WV? 🙂

    Bet the talking heads will be gawking about Baylor’s fall more than UKs.

    P.S. I get to see KU play in person this Sat. Got to take care of business tho tonight.

  • @RockChalkinTexas I missed that Baylor lost to them, but I’m glad. These teams are just handing us our championship aren’t they?

  • @wissoxfan83 Baylor is like 1-6 in the Big 12. They are not much of a concern anymore. I’d hate to see KSU keep squeaking by opponents to a 10-3 record or something like that, to where it’s us and them all over again.

  • @MoonwalkMafia
    Wow, I am so focused on KU that I didn’t realize they were doing so poorly. Why do you think that is, I mean all that talent, and 1-6? Hmmmm…Maybe the coach?

  • @wissoxfan83 Well, they’ve had to play some tough teams, but at the same time they got whooped by Texas Tech. But yes, Scott Drew just isn’t a very good coach. There’s probably more reasons, but I don’t really watch Baylor very often.

  • @wissoxfan83 On the all-time victory list: the NCAA says at the end of last season we were 10 victories behind UK:


    As of right now (before our game with ISU), both teams have 15 victories this season.

    So we are still 10 games behind, with a chance to move to 9.

  • @wissoxfan83

    You are awesome, my friend!

    “Wow, I am so focused on KU that I didn’t realize they were doing so poorly. Why do you think that is, I mean all that talent, and 1-6? Hmmmm…Maybe the coach?”

    I don’t know… I guess it is part of perfection. “Perfection” is what Cal is going for this year. Maybe we have a different definition for that word…

  • @MoonwalkMafia

    Kansas 6-0 1.000 W6 15-4 .789 W6

    Oklahoma 6-2 .750 W4 17-4 .801 W4

    Texas 5-2 .714 W5 16-4 .800 W5

    Kansas State 5-3 .625 W1 15-6 .714 W1

    Oklahoma State 4-3 .571 L1 16-4 .800 L1

    West Virginia 4-4 .500 W1 12-9 .571 W1

    Iowa State 3-3 .500 W1 15-3 .833 W1

    Texas Tech 2-6 .250 L3 10-11 .476 L3

    Baylor 1-6 .143 L5 13-7 .650 L5

    TCU 0-7 .000 L7 9-10 .474 L7

    As of January 28, 9:25 PM CT Big 12 Standings

  • I hate playing Iowa state. That is all.

  • If Black does not play, it’s another opportunity for Lucas to step up. Great to have a surplus of talent.

  • I watched most of the Kentucky game and UK was awful to put it mildly. They were lethargic on defense, masonic on offense and got outplayed all night.

    But the capper for me was under two minutes to go and an LSU player on the free throw line. Kentucky had four guys straddling the lane for a possible rebound and LSU had none. Their other four players were in the backcourt to prevent any kind of run out and quick score. On the second free throw, a miss by the way, Kentucky had a lane violation. Four UK players and only the shooter to box out and they commit a lane violation. It was priceless.

  • @MoonwalkMafia Nah, " Scott Drew just isn’t a very good coach." - that about sums it up. Lord knows they’ve had plenty of talent there over the years. Maybe it’s the cheerleaders…

  • @Blown For me, you can leave out the word " playing ".

  • @KansasComet I believe Lucas has that special ability to know where the ball is going to bounce off the rim and get to the best spot for rebounds. If he gets 15 minutes tonight I hope I’m proven right.

  • ##Austin, TX Sportswriter Article On Our 9 In A Row

    Kansas brings streak like no other to Austin

    Jayhawks boast incredible run of nine straight Big 12 titles.

    Posted: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 By Kevin Lyttle - American-Statesman Staff

    Nine consecutive conference championships. Think about that for a minute. Nine in a row.

    The Kansas Jayhawks’ Big 12 regular-season title streak is one of the most remarkable accomplishments in sports.

    “It’s not like they’re doing it in any old league,” Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said. “The Big 12, year in and year out, is one of the nation’s premier conferences. To have the same team win it so many times in a row is really hard to comprehend.”

    Sixth-ranked Kansas, which faces No. 25 Texas on Saturday at the Erwin Center, has a good head start on title No. 10 in a row as the Jayhawks are 6-0 in the top-rated league in the country.

    To put this in perspective in major American sports, the New England Patriots and Vancouver Canucks have the next-best current streaks with five straight division titles.

    In Major League Baseball, the Detroit Tigers have three division titles in a row, as have the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat in the NBA.

    UCLA, under John Wooden, won 13 Pac-10 titles in a row in the 1960s-70s. More recently, Gonzaga ruled the West Coast Conference for 11 straight years (2001-11). But now it’s all Kansas. In college basketball — and college football, for that matter — nobody else in a major conference has an active streak longer than two straight titles.

    ”What I’m most proud about is the consistency,” said Jayhawks coach Bill Self, who has a 300-59 record at KU. “We’ve changed faces a lot from year to year, but we’ve remained at a high level. Credit the players. We’ve had very good players. And there’s a legacy of winning here.”

    Kansas never has a bad year. The Jayhawks have won at least 23 games in 24 consecutive seasons. Their last “bad” year was a 19-12 finish in 1988-89 under Roy Williams. They’ve won 31 or more games for four years in a row. The 2007-08 national champs have made 29 NCAA tournament appearances in a row.

    This year, playing by far the toughest-rated schedule, Kansas stumbled four times before conference play, losing close games to No. 3 Florida, No. 5 San Diego State, No. 9 Villanova and Colorado.

    Since then, the Jayhawks, who play No. 16 Iowa State tonight, have worked over five nationally ranked Big 12 teams.

    “I’m not surprised by anything they do,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said. “Bill always does a terrific job. They had a lot of young guys trying to put things together early on. They might have wanted to see more out of certain guys, but now it’s all come together and they’re one of the best teams in the country. Just like I thought they’d be.”

    Kansas had to replace all five starters from a 31-6 team, and the new guys are pretty good.

    Andrew Wiggins, the 6-foot-8-inch freshman and concensus No. 1 recruit last year, leads the team in scoring (15.8 ppg) while sophomore forward Perry Ellis averages 12.9 points and 6.8 rebounds.

    But freshman center Joel Embiid, a 7-foot, 250-pounder from Cameroon, has everybody talking. Most viewed Embiid as a project, but he’s a huge interior presence and improving virtually every day, averaging 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks.

    “I think he might be the most impactful player in the country,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said.

    The Embiid vs. Cam Ridley battle Saturday will be worth the price of admission. If you already have a ticket. The game is virtually sold out, and not all those fans will be rooting for the home team. Kansas travels well.

    “We have great fans, and they follow us wherever we go,” Self said. “We always have a lot of people on the Texas trips.”


  • Good article about Lucas & KU’s front-court depth. Awhile back (and maybe not here, perhaps on kusports) I had posted that this year’s team had the chance to be the best front-court Self has ever had at KU. And I posted this before Embiid started landing as everyone’s #1 pick on their draft boards. What does everyone else think? Here are the front courts of the past several years:

    '14: Embiid, Ellis, Traylor, Black, Lucas

    '13 Withey, Young, Ellis, Traylor

    '12 TRob, Withey, KY, Wesley

    '11 Mc Morris, Mk Morris, TRob, Withey

    '10 Aldrich, Mc Morris, Mk Morris, TRob

    '09 Aldrich, Mc Morris, Mk Morris, Quintrell Thomas (or a case could be made, accurately in my opinion, that Mario Little actually played the 4 more as the 4th big than did Quintrell)

    '08 Arthur, D Jackson, Kaun, Aldrich

    '07 Wright, Arthur, Kaun, Jackson

    '06 Wright, Kaun, CJ Giles, Jackson

    All due respect to Wayne Simien, that’s as far back as I’ll go. Partly because Simien was a Roy recruit, and partly because it was a one man show in the post at that time, with Christian Moody being the primary front court mate in '05.

    I think prior to this year, the '11 squad with the Morris Twins and TRob off the bench was the best we’d seen, definitely the best trio. If we just look at it as the top 3, are Embiid, Ellis, & Traylor as good as those 3? I would say not yet, but they may be come March. '12 TRob was the best individual post player during Self’s tenure in my opinion. From a depth perspective, it’s hard to argue against this year’s squad. I also love the versatility of this year’s team. Whereas the '11 MorrisHawk led front-court might have been superior in scoring and rebounding, they didn’t have a rim protector that the Withey & Aldrich led teams had. Joel provides us with the best of both, which is why I say this year’s collection of players may end up being the best yet.

  • @RockChalkinTexas Nine conference championships is …nice, I guess. But what really bothers me is Self’s inability to win at home. I mean, nine losses in eleven years??? We’ve got to get more consistent. Take advantage of our home court.


  • 300-59 record at KU. Think about that for a few minutes. That’s a rate of 30-6 every season if I did my math.

  • @wissoxfan83 That’s just through Bill’s first 10 years at KU; when he was feeling things out, before he got really good.

  • @icthawkfan316

    Wesley is also part of the 2013 and 2014 front courts…

  • @icthawkfan316 Who do you think was the best post player – I’d say TRob was the best on a one season basis. Just my opinion. And I think if he were thrust in to starting in 2011, he would have been darn near as good as 2012.

  • @HighEliteMajor Yeah, 2011-2012 TRob was as good as we’ve seen under Self. Simien had some big years the first two seasons Self was here too. I do think he needed some time to develop, to get used to not fouling and to not be so sped up. I’m sure that would have came sooner had he started his sophomore year, but hard to argue having both the Twins in there.

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