February 17: News Headlines Digest

  • Also see our Daily Threads, February 17, and the News Digest for Yesterday, February 16, as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday, February 16


    ##Newell: KU forward Jamari Traylor on suspension: ‘I let everybody down’##

    LAWRENCE — Jamari Traylor was stuck on the bench, and that was a cruel punishment during his one-game suspension Monday when he watched his team fall to Kansas State, 85-82, in overtime.

    “As a player, you’d see plays like, ‘Ah, I could have got that,’ or something like that. Just stuff like that,” the Kansas sophomore forward said. “I just knew I could have helped the team, and it was hurting me to know that I let everybody down.”

    ###Please add stories here### ###### Also see our Daily Threads, February 17, and the News Digest for Yesterday, February 16, as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday, February 16

  • On the Conference Race - From SI.com Fanside Talking12

    By Chip Rouse - Feb 16th, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Three weeks to go in the regular season, and Kansas and Texas have added another game of separation between them and the rest of the Big 12 teams, as everyone but cellar-dwelling TCU continues to beat up on each other. There is a good reason why the Big 12 continues to be the top conference in college basketball this season. When your eight and ninth place teams in a 10-team league were once ranked in the top-10 nationally in the same season, it easily underscores the parity and power level of the teams within the conference.

    The degree of separation between the best team and the worst team in the Big 12 this season is razor thin. Consider that Kansas lost to Texas, which lost to Oklahoma State, which lost twice to Oklahoma, which lost to Texas Tech, which lost to West Virginia, which lost to Oklahoma State, which lost to Iowa State, which lost to West Virginia, which beat Kansas State, which beat Kansas. It’s been crazy and confusing like that practically every week since the conference season began in early January.

    Kansas has been No. 1 in our weekly power rankings since supplanting Iowa State, when the once 14-0 Cyclones fell into a swoon in which they lost four of five games in mid-to-late January. The only other spot that hasn’t changed in the Big 12 power rankings is TCU which has held down the bottom spot since the beginning of the New Year.

    Week 16 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Power Rankings

    (Last week’s ranking in parentheses)

    1.Kansas Jayhawks (1) – Texas is the only conference team with a chance of resting the championship from the Jayhawks; after Saturday when one and two meet in Lawrence, it could be all over.

    2.Texas Longhorns (4) - The comeback team of the year after losing its first two conference games this season. Since then, the Lonhgorns have won nine of 10.

    3.Oklahoma Sooners (3) - Sooners are off until Saturday before hosting Kansas State and a chance to avenge an earlier loss at Manhattan.

    4.Iowa State Cyclones (2) - Iowa State is 5-1 at home this season in Big 12 play, but just 2-4 on the road. They have Texas in Ames on Tuesday.

    5.Kansas State Wildcats (6) - TCU is next up at home before the Wildcats head to Norman, Okla., on Saturday, with a 1-5 roach record in the Big 12.

    6.West Virginia Mountaineers (5) - The Mountaineers play well at home (beating Oklahoma and Iowa State in their last two home games). They don’t have to go back out on the road until a week from Wednesday, when then face another tough road test at Iowa State.

    7.Oklahoma State Cowboys (7) - The Cowboys are rudderless without floor leader and best player Marcus Smart. Problen is: They weren’t doing all that good with him. Enough said.

    8.Texas Tech Red Raiders (9) - The Red Raiders are playing as well as anybody in the Big 12 right now. Since beginning conference play at 1-3, Texas Tech has gone 4-3, including a road win at Oklahoma.

    9.Baylor Bears (8) - Two of the Bad News Bears’ four conference wins are over TCU. The only two teams they have beaten ahead of them in the standings are Oklahoma State and Kansas State.

    10.TCU Horned Frogs (10) - Likely not to change position this year, but a league win is still very doable.

    P.S. re: Chip Rouse Chip Rouse has spent over 40 years working in and with the news media. A journalist by training and a graduate of the University of Kansas.

  • Cliff Alexander Talks JaQuan Lyle, Myles Turner, #1 Ranking

    Understandably, things could have been a bit awkward for the big man during Sunday’s Public League quarterfinals at Chicago State University. Alexander’s future and might-have-been head coaches sat courtside, just a few seats apart as his Curie squad fought to a 71-64 win over fellow public league power Simeon.

    Self watched his 6-foot-9 soon-to-be star drop 16 points, grab 11 rebounds and block six shots. Groce checked on 2015 Illini verbal commit D.J. Williams of Simeon. After his notorious hat-fake on signing day, he was cordial with Groce and staff and caught up with an extremely happy-looking Self.

  • @ajvan

    He could have a star studded finals matchup with Jahlil Okafor in the Public League finals if they both win their semis as expected.

    The Public League could be at it’s all time best right now. Young had three players nominated for the MCD’s game! Alexander’s Curie team has beaten the top ranked HS team in the nation this year.

  • @wissoxfan83 Alexander says something like, “KU could really use a 6’4” point guard next year." That opens up the old Pandora’s box about whether Self is “settling” with Tharpe at starting pg, or whether he’s actively looking for an upgrade.

    Makes me wonder how Alexander reached that conclusion.

    I watched the game where Curie beat Monteverde, and Cliff was a MAN. He took over in the second half and out-toughed and browbeat Monteverde into submission. Another head to head matchup with Okafor would be fun. Seems like Cliff is eager to earn that number 1 spot.

  • @ajvan thanks for sharing! Enjoyed it!

  • Recently glanced looked at the old site & lo & behold, Oakville is alive & well with his amazing “Oakville oddities” wit & wisdom. Wish someone still connected there could get him to occasionally twixt his lip on buckets. He’s as solid & clever a rat if there ever was one. IMO highest quality content with amusingly brilliant & perceptive content. Subtle humor as good as it gets. Cmon’ back Oak… just let it happen!

  • @ajvan So, do you think that Lyle, the #22/#41 (Rivals/ESPN) would step in at point guard as a freshman and be an instant upgrade over Tharpe and Mason?

    If so, I’m curious as to what information you have on Lyle that would lead you to believe that.

    @globaljaybird - I post over there from time to time, and have suggested to Oak to come join us over here. But he doesn’t seem interested.

  • @globaljaybird I’ve commented to him several times to come on over, but to no avail obviously.

  • @ajvan At this point, it’s hard to imagine anyone unseating a senior Tharpe next year for the starting PG position. If anyone has a shot at it, Mason would be the guy. A freshman, even one as highly ranked and long & athletic as Lyle, seems unlikely.

    Normally we see Self have an almost unwavering support of his veteran players over the underclassmen. The most classic/infamous example of this was with BStar & Tyrel Reed vs. EJ & Releford. Other examples abound. This most likely stems from Self’s comfort level with more experienced players to provide him with the level of defense he expects. However, if ever there was a player that seemed ripe to break that trend, it’s Tharpe. He just doesn’t seem to have Self’s full confidence, which logically could be tied to his defensive shortcomings. We saw Self bench him for 2 games in favor of Mason, and we saw him sit Tharpe down the stretch of the Texas game. We also have the quote from Self (following the Texas game) where he says he isn’t going to throw anybody under the bus, but goes on to say Tharpe wasn’t impacting the game on either end.

    I don’t follow the high school game enough to accurately assess Lyle and his abilities. But my guess is it was just Alexander doing his part to try and recruit his friend who he knows Self has interest in to his new school. I also wonder if we’d have a scholarship available for him.

    Regardless, thanks for posting the link and sparking some good conversation. Very excited for Alexander next year!

  • @HighEliteMajor-Thanks for trying Jack. IMHO he’s a really unique & clever guy that possesses entertaining & whimsical ways of getting his thoughts across without all of the ramblings so many of us are guilty of.

  • @globaljaybird

    I agree… I miss Oakville! I still visit KUSports but I rarely check out the comments.

    Why don’t we treat Oakville like a HS All-American recruit… and go after him?

    We can start the recruitment by making a thread specifically for Oakville… then HEM can post a link on KUSports.

    This is nothing against KUSports… and we’ll never advise Oak to stop posting there… we just ask him to post sometimes over here!

    So maybe we make a thread in Oakville style… a comical list of why we want Oakville to bring his outrageous talent over here!

    If several of you agree… we should start here with the list… we build it together and tweak it… then we go live and post it as a thread!

    Here we go -


    1. Just read this list… we can’t match his wit, even as a group!

  • @drgnslayr I like it … so we are going to recruit him. You starting the thread? “KUBuckets Targets Oakville”? Something like that?

  • @drgnslayr-Why should Oakville post on kubuckets? Because so many of us are so lacking in guidance… …we couldn’t find our way out of a four-door outhouse!

  • Idea … in the link, we can each post our recruiting pitch. Then send over the link. Here’s mine:

    “Oak has always been a go-to guy. Not a flashy, volume type scorer, but more the “bring the lunch bucket to work” kind of guy. It’s unfortunate that his talents have been wasted at kusports.com here for a few months. If he ended up agreeing to come to kubuckets.com, I’m quite sure that he’d move immediately into the starting lineup. Talent like that demands p.t.”

  • @drgnslayr-Why should Oakville post on kubuckets? Because his message has the power of Boobs! “It can make a 6 month old baby & an old man act the same way.”

  • @drgnslayr-Why do we need Oakville to post on kubuckets? To loosen up some of us keeerusty old board rats, that’s why. Sometimes these comments are tightern’ a rusty lug nut on a old Ford pickup.

  • @HighEliteMajor No, I don’t see Lyle as an instant upgrade. Tyus Jones would likely have been that guy. Tharpe’s lack of defense and lack of aggression on the break makes it easy for me to daydream about an elite level PG, but I don’t know that Lyle is necessarily that.

    Just wondering why he’d come to KU to play PG, as Cliff says, if he’s third in line by default.

  • Can’t say what would happen if Lyle chose KU. He is a thick player. He looks solid from what I saw on his highlights. I say come to Kansas “Where four and five stars have to earn minutes”.

  • Off topic but just wanted to post this foxsports link[link text](link url)http://msn.foxsports.com/college-[basketball/story/kansas-jayhawks-to-have-joel-embiid-brannen-greene-vs-texas-tech1-021714

    Also cbt link about Marcus “not very” Smart. [link text](link url)http://collegebasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/02/17/marcus-smart-calls-out-oklahoma-state-blogger-in-the-middle-of-oklahoma-state-and-baylor-game/

  • Okay… I’ll start the thread… and we’ll put the list in my start thread… so if any of you want to add to the list, please edit my initial post.

    And then the comments below every throws in their sales pitch!

    @HighEliteMajor - can you post your pitch now in the new thread?

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