Monthly Archives: January 2012

KU postgame: Huge victory margin

By Blair Kerkhoff

Afterthoughts of Kansas’ 81-46 triumph at Texas Tech on Wednesday…

Odd game. Texas Tech jumped ahead 8-2 and was playing the type of game it needed to have chance. The Red Raiders milked the shot clock and got decent looks in the final seconds. But Billy Gillispie’s squad was unable to sustain the momentum for several reasons.

Tech missed some open three looks. Before the Jayhawks broke an 8-8 deadlock, the Red Raiders had missed four three-point attempts. Knock down one or two of those and perhaps the first half unfolds in a different way. Also in that stretch were a couple of bad passes by big man Robert Lewandowski, the Blue Valley West graduate who may have been pressing.

Also, Kansas defense was starting to clamp down. For an entire game, it probably was the best defensive effort of the season.

*With 15 points and five assists, Tyshawn Taylor played well. No guard on the team and few in the Big 12 can get to the basket like he can, but Taylor’s finishes at the hoop are like a stroll through an art gallery, some masterpieces and some stuff that defies description. Still, four turnovers against a Gillispie defense isn’t bad.

*When postgame compliments were passed out, Taylor made sure to mention Justin Wesley’s defense. Wesley was credited with one block and two rebounds in 13 minutes but he was active, as were all the reserves, who contributed 26 points and 14 rebounds.

*The victory margin was the largest on an enemy court since a 39-point victory at SMU in 1995.

The margin was a biggest for the Jayhawks in a road conference game since 1910. That KU team, led by first-year coach W.O. Hamilton won at Missouri 58-22.

The Tigers got some revenge, winning in Lawrence 41-10 in 1916, handing the Jayhawks their worst home conference defeat in history.

KU largest road victory margin by conference opponent:

36 at Missouri (58-22), 1919
35 at Texas Tech (81-46), 2012
34 at Colorado (87-53), 1994
33 at Iowa State (50-17), 1919
33 at Oklahoma State (80-47), 1966
32 at Nebraska (56-24), 1943
31 at Oklahoma (86-55), 1963
31 at Grinnell (42-11), 1920
30 at Texas (102-72), 1998
29 at Kansas State (94-65), 2000
26 at Baylor (82-56), 2007
22 at Washington U. (48-16), 1915
21 at Texas A&M (78-57), 2000

Releford is Big 12 player of the week

Kansas guard Travis Releford was selected Big 12 player of the week Monday after setting career-highs in points with 16 against Kansas State last Wednesday and 28 at Oklahoma on Saturday.

It is the first career honor for Releford and the fourth time a KU player has been chosen this season. Thomas Robinson won the award three times, on Nov. 28, Dec. 12 and Jan. 2.

Releford also had a double-double in the 67-49 win over the Wildcats, finishing with 11 rebounds. He then matched his career-high point total in the first half of the 72-61 win over the Sooners before finishing with 28 points.

He is averaging 10.1 points this season and has recorded double figures in three straight games. KU plays at Texas Tech on Wednesday.

OU’s McCay to transfer to KU; Hawks get Texas DT

By Blair Kerkhoff

Former Bishop Miege receiver Justin McCay will transfer to KU from Oklahoma, according to Jon Kirby of

McCay, 6 feet 2 and 209 pounds, appeared in three games for the Sooners this season after redshirting in 2010. He would have three seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out because of to transfer rules.

Big 12 rules state players transferring inside the conference must sit two years, though that rule could be waived. The NCAA requires one year on the sidelines for transfers.

KU also received an oral commitment Friday from Tyler Holmes, a 6-3, 275-pound defensive tackle from Sachse, Texas, according to Rivals.

Holmes recorded 104 tackles this season and said that his college choice was influenced by Coach Charlie Weis retaining assistant coach Buddy Wyatt, who helped recruit Holmes. Other schools in the mix included Memphis, North Texas and Arkansas State.

Holmes becomes the Jayhawks’ ninth commitment. The national letter of intent signing day for football is Feb. 1.



KSU-KU postgame

By Blair Kerkhoff

Postgame thoughts on Kansas’ 67-49 victory over Kansas State…

As much credit as Travis Releford deserved for his scoring and rebounding (16 and 11), not enough was given to his first-half defense against Rodney McGruder, K-State’s most skilled perimeter scorer. Releford’s blanket defense not only kept McGruder from getting many open looks but also from catching the ball and allowing the Wildcats to run offense.

* Loved what Bill Self had to say about Releford on his radio post game: “He has the best old man’s game of anybody I’ve seen for a young guy. Just think about the when he’s over 40 and playing, he’s going to dominate. He drives in there and reverse pivots and does things that look awkward.”

They may look awkward to younger folks, but Releford’s game reminds me of a player from the 1970s, more fundamentally sound and less flashy. Releford isn’t wildly athletic, but his game as developed nicely in four years and he’s become an important part of the lineup.

* Tyshawn Taylor can be careless with the ball is the understatement of the year. But Martavious Irving played excellent defense and bothered Taylor like no other defender I’ve seen this season. I thought Irving was the Wildcats’ best player in the game.

* A twitter comment on the atmosphere at Allen Fieldhouse last brought several responses from those who believed the old barn should be filled even with students on holiday break with its proximity to KC/Johnson County/Topeka. Agreed.

But Bramlage should be filled or close to it for Saturday’s Missouri game, even with thousands of fans at the Cotton Bowl the previous night.

* Folks wondered how Kansas’ RPI could have dropped from the low 30s to the mid-50s by beating Howard and North Dakota. Plenty about the RPI remains a mystery to me, but generally it rewards success against good schedules, and it’s why KU jumped from 55 to 35 by beating K-State, and the Wildcats didn’t drop much at all (33 from 28) with the loss.

* Solid victory by Iowa State over Texas, and Coach Fred Hoiberg (@ISUMayor32) tweeted this: “Great team victory tonight over Texas. We took a big step forward as a team tonight! Thanks Fans for bringing the magic!!”

J’Covan Brown, who entered the game leading the Big 12 in scoring, rolled his ankle and missed most of the second half. Texas had erased all of a 14-point halftime deficit, but without Brown, the Cyclones pulled away.

It was Iowa State’s first conference opening victory in five years.

* Assuming Baylor, Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State are the league’s top four teams, who is No. 5? By RPI, it’s Oklahoma (No. 41). But the Sooners were battered at Missouri on Tuesday. We’ll know more about Oklahoma when it plays host to Kansas on Saturday.


Jayhawks hire strength coach from Florida

Kansas new football strength and conditioning coach is following Charlie Weis from Florida.

Scott Holsopple was the Gators’ assistant director of strength and conditioning for the previous five years, including the 2008 national championship season.

In Holsopple’s five seasons, Florida posted a 50-17 record and helped shape six NFL Draft first-half selections.

Before Florida, Holsopple had been the strength and conditioning coach for the basketball teams at Kentucky and Marquette.

Holsopple graduated from Penn State in 2000, where he earned All-America recognition as a boxer.

– Blair Kerkhoff