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Jayhawks discuss concerns at players’ meeting

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0), Perry Ellis (34) and Landen Lucas, background right, walk off the court as West Virginia fans storm the court after defeating the Jayhawks 62-61 Monday, February 16, 2105  in Morgantown, W.V.

Kansas University basketball starters/team leaders Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden Jr. called a players-only meeting on Tuesday night at Jayhawker Towers in response to the Jayhawks’ 70-63 loss to Kansas State on Monday in Manhattan.

“Just getting back on the right page,” sophomore point guard Frank Mason III said of the purpose of the session.

“We obviously don’t want to be the team to mess up the Big 12 streak (10 straight championships). So we just got together (to) talk about the things we need to do, becoming better on the defensive end, just doing everything coach needs us to do,” Mason added.

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The loss to K-State dropped (22-6, 11-4) KU into a tie (in the loss column) with Iowa State in the Big 12 race. However, Baylor beat Iowa State on Wednesday night in Ames, meaning KU again holds a one-game lead over ISU, West Virginia and Oklahoma with three games remaining.

“Different guys stepped up, said different things, had their own opinions,” Mason said of the meeting. “We just all took it and tried to make it positive and make the change.”

Things are again looking up for the Jayhawks after Iowa State’s 79-70 home loss. In fact, KU could wrap up at least a share of the league title by winning home games Saturday (Texas, 4 p.m.) and Tuesday (West Virginia, 8 p.m.).

“I got to catch the second half, the majority of the second half,” Mason said. “I think everyone was watching. We weren’t all together. Everyone was watching in different rooms. Everyone kind of got a feel of what happened last night. Baylor made a lot of threes. They (Bears) helped us out a lot.”

KU coach Bill Self watched basketball while working overtime in his office until heading home about 9 p.m., Wednesday.

“Duke and Virginia Tech,” Self said. “There was one other game on that I watched a little bit of. I can’t even remember which game it was.”

He resisted any temptation to view ISU-BU.

“Because if I watch it (ISU-BU), I’d be, you know, nervous and all that stuff. I didn’t watch one play. I think Kurtis (Townsend, assistant) watched it. I think Jerrance (Howard) and Norm (Roberts, assistants) watched it.”

Asked what he thought when he was told the final ISU-BU score, Self cracked: “Well, I followed the score (on computer). Iowa State was playing very well and got up eight or 10. Based on what I was told, Baylor went on a run and made like five threes in a row or something like that.

“Two good teams playing. Of course, we know how good Baylor is because they gave us all we wanted twice. Iowa State is as talented as anybody. It doesn’t matter unless we take care of business ourselves moving forward. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that last night I was definitely a Baylor Bear fan.”

Jerrance returns: KU assistant Howard is back on the job after serving a two-week suspension. Self suspended the second-year KU aide after learning Howard was arrested last summer in his Peoria, Illinois hometown for marijuana possession.

“We haven’t made a big deal about that. Of course he’s happy to be back at work, without question,” Self said.

No whining allowed: Self said he hasn’t discussed Monday’s court-storming with his players as a group.

“I thought our guys handled it well. But that’s the end of the discussion. That’s on somebody else to handle it, not for us to keep talking about it. We need to move on,” Self said. “To me, when you keep talking about that, you sound like a little whiny brat. It happened. Can’t change that it happened. If we’d have played better, not allowed it to happen, it would never have occurred.”

He added: “I mentioned it to Jamari. I thought he handled it better than most would.”

KU’s Jamari Traylor did not retaliate after a fan ran into him by the south goal.

Jerseys: KU and adidas on Thursday unveiled a new alternate uniform that the Jayhawks will wear during the 2015 postseason.

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Kansas basketball and adidas are at it again, as the two on Thursday morning unveiled ...

The look, dubbed “Made in March” features a basic jersey with “Kansas” written across the chest and shorts with a giant Jayhawk on the sides.

According to the release, the uniform system was “designed with adidas’ most innovative and advanced apparel and footwear technology to help the Jayhawks play at their highest levels during college basketball’s biggest moments.”

The jerseys were designed with the same lightweight, sweat-wicking technology used in the NBA and targeted ventilation zones on the chest, back and side to keep players cool during games. A perforated pattern on the shorts maximizes comfort and breathability.

The uniform package also includes the choice of signature adidas shoes from NBA All-Stars Damian Lillard, John Wall and Derrick Rose.

KU officials said the Made in March uniforms could be worn as early as the Big 12 Championship (March 11-14) at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas is already slated to don the Heritage Classic uniforms on Saturday against Texas.

“I don’t even know if our players know they’re wearing throw-back jerseys (vs. UT). I know we’re wearing some commemorative uniform based on it being the 60th anniversary of our building. I said, ‘If it’s our 60th anniversary, why aren’t we wearing the uniforms they were wearing 60 years ago?’ Adidas didn’t want to do that,” Self said. “So we’ll wear kind of a throw-back I guess mid

’80s, late ’80s uniform, which is fine. Players like putting on a new uniform, but it’s not that big a deal. But having (ESPN) Game Day here and playing Texas, knowing what’s potentially at stake, I think everybody should be pretty excited.”

Adidas, of course, doesn’t win all the battles.

“I actually have stepped in and not done some of the stuff that adidas wanted to do,” Self stated.

Comments

Bryce Landon

Here's what I'd like to see the Jayhawks do going forward:

(1) Stop dogging it on defense. (2) Crash the glass and rebound the damn ball. (3) Seize those 50-50 balls. (4) Once you get a team down, make sure they STAY DOWN. (5) Bring the hammer down on inferior competition and don't play footsie with them.

Otherwise, this players-only meeting was a big waste of everyone's time and a waste of a LJW article.

7 years, 9 months ago

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Bryce Landon

I like the uniforms that we're donning tomorrow against Texas, as you can see from my avatar. But I'm with Self; we ought to have donned 1955 replicas to commemorate the Allen Fieldhouse diamond jubilee.

7 years, 9 months ago

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Joe Ross

I was very reluctant about the change from the circus font to the trajan. I think Ive settled into the new one now, but I miss how distinctive the circus font was among college basketball. http://www.lostlettermen.com/article/...

7 years, 9 months ago

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David Robinett

yes, complete with the short shorts of the day!

7 years, 9 months ago

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Erich Hartmann

No these players will get pissed off on "weird" short shorts, and get horribly distracted from what UTexas is trying to throw at them. Too self-conscious.

I gotta admit, even in the MJ era, when the shorts were mid-length (almost to knee), it was downright peculiar and uncomfortable to see John Stockton in his short, short, shorts. Never cared for that look. Nor do I care for the street-baller shorts that are 6in below the knee. Extremes are never good. Bottom line: how good is your game?

7 years, 9 months ago

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Suzi Marshall

I'm surprised ESPN passed on WSU v N. Iowa or Utah v AZ since both are decisive battles for Conference Championships amongst top 10 teams. The Big 12 is in the middle of a dog fight and our game, while extremely important is not decisive.

Makes me wonder if ESPN made a commitment to KU for this season, since we've been the foe on a few recent game-days.

7 years, 9 months ago

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Damian Glaze

Gameday is in Wichita. Just only for a short period during the early morning. They changed it from being a Wichita only thing to a State of Kansas thing. They will do the early morning in Wichita; then WSU plays at 12:00. They will then broadcast a second (albeit brief) Gameday in Lawrence for the 4:00 KU start.

7 years, 9 months ago

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Suzi Marshall

That makes alot of sense. Great for the State of Kansas.

7 years, 9 months ago

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Aaron Paisley

They just did an Arizona game last Saturday against UCLA so they aren't doing 2 Arizona games in a row.

7 years, 9 months ago

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Suzi Marshall

Surprised they would do AZ then with Utah coming up so soon.

7 years, 9 months ago

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Aaron Paisley

Arizona and UCLA is probably the biggest rivalry game out west.

7 years, 9 months ago

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Yolanda Gay

The player's only meeting will only be effective if people actually spoke up and were honest. There are some things, regardless of what was said, that will not change - at least not this late in the season. That is we have no consistent interior offense. Perry has shown up the last several games; but will it continue. If our 3s aren't falling, we have no other options. People also need to practice free throws. We win OK St and WV if we make free throws. Other guards in the league are quick. We just can't stop dribble penetration. It seems Mason's legs are gone. He's played too many minutes in previous games. I don't see how that will change this late in the season.

How effective will Jerrance be as a recruiter after this incident?

7 years, 9 months ago

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Erich Hartmann

I thought the same thing about Jerrance. But Self is also the master recruiter, and if the current prevailing sentiment *seems to be* that pot isnt that big of a deal, than I'll easily admit Self may know more about ramifications than we fans know.

My personal thought was that Jerrance made himself instant dead-weight, but apparently, Self doesnt think so.

7 years, 9 months ago

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Walter Bridges

I don't see it being an issue. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form...
Alaska just joined the recreational use club and Kansas is pending legislation this year.

Parents and players will have other more important questions and issues when deciding where to play college ball.

7 years, 9 months ago

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Joe Joseph

"How effective will Jerrance be as a recruiter after this incident?"

More effective.

7 years, 9 months ago

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Erich Hartmann

haha, yes, a real ambassador selling Self's "family values atmosphere"...

7 years, 9 months ago

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Ron Sterling

Like it or not, marijuana is not longer the boogie man drug it was in the past. Reefer Madness is a joke, and the hippies of yesteryear are all middle-aged squares now. Like anything, marijuana can be destructive, but people are willing to consider it a private matter in this day and age. I would expect the same thing if Jerrance were caught with a ball gag.

7 years, 9 months ago

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Ryan Michael

You act as if smoking a joint is equivalent to joining a gang and knocking over liquor stores. Yes, that incident could in fact improve the "family values" atmosphere... Some people in this world realize that people make mistakes. Throwing Jerrance out for making a poor decision that did not negatively affect anyone else directly, that would have been more anti-family imho.

Dishing out appropriate punishment, and allowing him to learn from it and become a better person, that is what family values is all about.

7 years, 9 months ago

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Aaron Paisley

It will not help his recruiting and it has nothing to do with marijuana. Bill Self did not find out about the arrest until 6 months after the fact and therefore lied by omission about his arrest. Other coaches will use that against Howard his recruiting for KU will suffer because of it.

7 years, 9 months ago

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Kipchoge VanHoose

I'm thinking we are 11-11. Call a players only meeting. 11-4 leading the big 12 conference, not so much. I just want the offense to run through Perry. Let him work. Right now we don't have another big who can help play high low offense.

7 years, 9 months ago

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Aaron Paisley

The team that won the title had a players only meeting late in the season after a bad stretch of games as well.

7 years, 9 months ago

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Jake Waddle

Like that guys are invested and want to win... Wish they would talk about the streak in terms of "being the ones to extend it to 11" as opposed to "hoping to not mess it up". Gives a totally different perspective on the mindset of guys on how that is worded. If they are hoping to not mess it up, the pressure mounts as the race and games get tight. It's a different attitude than the guys coming together and saying "Damnit, we're KANSAS... this is what we do" (Win Conference Championships).

7 years, 9 months ago

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Tyson Ailshie

I'm all for winning. And winning the conference championship is fine. But I want Kansas Basketball to be in the business of contending for National Championships. I don't think this is an unreasonable expectation. We only have three in the last 60 plus years. I know it's hard to win them. I get it. But it can't be that hard can it? Bottom line, start contending for national championships more often and no more of these early exits to the likes of Stanford and Northern Iowa just to name a few.

7 years, 9 months ago

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