Kansas center Udoka Azubuike to return for senior season
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas center Udoka Azubuike will return for his senior season, giving coach Bill Self the 7-foot center he hoped to build his offense around last season.
Kansas star Dedric Lawson declares for NBA draft
Kansas forward Dedric Lawson will skip his senior year and enter the NBA draft, the latest move in what should be a significant overhaul of the Jayhawks' roster for next season.
Given the track record that Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and Kansas counterpart Bill Self have put together over the years, it is hardly surprising nobody felt much sympathy for them this...
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Bill Self has taken three teams to the Final Four and won a national title, he has more Big 12 championship rings than fingers and a national coach of the year award sits in...
Kansas, W Virginia out 8 key players for Saturday showdown
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Take the eight players combined that West Virginia and Kansas currently have sitting on the bench — or at home — and you'd have a team capable of winning the Big 12 title this season.
Might even have a team capable of winning the NCAA title.
Jayhawks’ Lagerald Vick takes personal leave of absence
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas guard Lagerald Vick is taking a leave of absence from the basketball program, leaving the No. 13 Jayhawks even more short-handed as they face an uphill climb to a 15th straight Big 12 title.
Jayhawks coach Bill Self said in a statement Thursday night that Vick has "some personal matters that require his immediate attention." Self said there is no timetable for his return.
The Jayhawks are 17-6 and 6-4 in the Big 12, leaving them 1 1/2 games behind Kansas State.
TOP 25 REWIND: Big 12 race heats up heading into final month
Kansas made a late-season push to clinch its record 14th straight Big 12 title a year ago. The Jayhawks may need a similar run to make it 15 in a row.
The Big 12 race has tightened up heading into the final month of the regular season, with five teams within a game of the lead. The 11th-ranked Jayhawks are looking up in the standings after splitting their two games last week.
No. 11 Kansas in a slump as it hosts No. 16 Texas Tech
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The preseason prediction atop the Big 12 this year looked much like the final standings for the past 14, with Kansas on top after garnering just about every vote from the league's coaches.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton picked Kansas State.
"I just took a step back from what the perception maybe is of who should win the league every year, and looked at it on what I believed was the most experienced team," he explained. "That was K-State."
Jumbled-up Big 12 still top league going into SEC matchups
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Texas Tech coach Chris Beard doesn't even really look at the Big 12 standings until every team has had a chance to play one another.
"Until you make the turn ... and you kind of come up for air," said Beard, whose 14th-ranked Red Raiders (15-4, 4-3 Big 12) had the outright lead before their current three-game losing streak.
No. 5 Kansas loses Azubuike for season to torn hand tendon
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Fifth-ranked Kansas will be without center Udoka Azubuike for the remainder of the season after an MRI exam Sunday revealed the 7-footer tore ligaments in his right hand during practice.
Azubuike returns, No. 5 Kansas beats Eastern Michigan 87-63
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Udoka Azubuike's return from injury couldn't have come at a more opportune time for Kansas. It couldn't have played out much better, either.
Azubuike scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds after an ankle sprain sidelined him for the last four games, leading No. 5 Kansas past Eastern Michigan 87-63 on Saturday in its final tune-up before Big 12 play.
Lawson, Moore carry No. 1 KU to 89-53 rout of South Dakota
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas coach Bill Self hoped from the moment Charlie Moore arrived as a transfer from Cal that the talented shooting guard would provide the Jayhawks a lift off the bench.
He finally did Tuesday night.
Moore knocked down six 3-pointers and finished with 18 points, Dedric Lawson added 16 points and 14 rebounds, and the top-ranked Jayhawks pulled away over the final 15 minutes for an 89-53 win over plucky but overmatched South Dakota on Tuesday night.
Lawson leads No. 2 Kansas past New Mexico State 63-60
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Dedric Lawson's second-half performance was invaluable for No. 2 Kansas.
Lawson had 20 points and 10 rebounds and scored Kansas' final 14 points as the undefeated Jayhawks got past New Mexico State 63-60 in the Jayhawk Shootout on Saturday night.
Kansas hopeful Azubuike returns by start of Big 12 play
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas coach Bill Self is hopeful injured center Udoka Azubuike will be back on the floor by the time the second-ranked Jayhawks open Big 12 play against Oklahoma on Jan. 2.
The 7-footer sustained a severe high ankle sprain when he landed awkwardly on a Wofford player early in the Jayhawks' 72-47 rout on Tuesday night. Azubuike was still not putting much weight on the ankle Thursday, Self said, but he could be moving in a walking boot by the weekend.
No. 2 Kansas surges in 2nd half vs. Wofford, loses Azubuike
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas endured yet another slow start — plus the loss of a player with NBA aspirations — before finally pulling away from a small-conference opponent.
Dedric Lawson had 20 points and eight rebounds, and the No. 2 Jayhawks ran off 27 consecutive points during the second half beat Wofford 72-47 on Tuesday night after center Udoka Azubuike left with a right ankle injury.
Vick again leads No. 2 Kansas in 89-76 win over La-Lafayette
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Lagerald Vick had declared for the NBA draft and Kansas had moved on without him, recruiting a trio of backcourt players to take his place and planning for the upcoming season.
Then Vick changed his mind and returned for his senior year.
Vick hits 8 3-pointers as No. 2 Kansas beats Vermont 84-68
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas guard Lagerald Vick followed his underwhelming season-opening performance against Michigan State with what Bill Self called the best offensive performance of anybody he's ever coached.
Vick went 8 for 8 from outside the 3-point arc. He hit two more deep 2s with his foot on the line. And the only shots he missed were a short hook and what Self called "a dipsy-do layup," giving the senior a career-high 32 points in an 84-68 victory over Vermont on Monday night.
No. 1 Kansas to lean on team loaded with transfers, freshmen
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas was so short of depth last season that when Silvio De Sousa joined the program for the second semester, having graduated from high school early, he quickly began playing important minutes.
Some of them came during the Jayhawks' run to the Final Four.
Kansas Preview Capsule
Last season: 31-8, lost to Villanova in Final Four
Coach: Bill Self
Conference: Big 12
Who's gone: PG Devonte Graham (NBA), PG Malik Newman (NBA), SG Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (NBA), SG Clay Young, SF Sam Cunliffe (transfer to Evansville).
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The national title aspirations of Kansas got a big lift on Wednesday.
A 7-foot, 280-pound lift.
Udoka Azubuike announced he was withdrawing from the NBA draft shortly before the deadline, choosing to return for his junior season with the Jayhawks rather than risk not getting selected.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (you-DOE'-kuh az-uh-BOO'-kee) is declaring for the NBA draft but is not hiring an agent, leaving open the possibility of returning to the Jayhawks for his junior season.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Udoka Azubuike has waited several years for the thrill he'll get when he looks into the Alamodome stands at the Final Four and sees his mother.
Sure, Azubuike appreciates the opportunity to play for a national title with his Kansas Jayhawks. But he is the starting center for one of the nation's most prestigious college basketball programs, and his mother has never seen him play.
In fact, Florence Azonuwu hasn't seen her son at all for six years.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A wave of positionless basketball has swept the nation. Coaches have loaded rosters with smaller, athletic players who shoot 3-pointers and beat defenders off the dribble. Three, sometimes four-guard lineups have become the norm, free-flowing the way to go.
This year's Final Four teams certainly fit the mold. These final four also have something else in common: Skilled big men who keep defenses honest, grab rebounds and protect the rim with all those smaller guys out there.
Top-seeded Kansas to face upstart Clemson in Midwest
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — No. 1 seed Kansas (29-7) vs. No. 5 seed Clemson (25-9)
Midwest Region semifinal; Omaha, Nebraska; Friday, 7 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: The Jayhawks are the top seed and will have what should amount to a home game on a neutral floor. But Clemson raised eyebrows with a 31-point thrashing of Auburn to reach the Sweet Sixteen, and the Tigers have the kind of deep and experienced backcourt that can lead a tourney run in March.
Kansas holds off Seton Hall 83-79 to reach Sweet 16
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Udoka Azubuike had practiced once in the last 11 days because of a lingering knee injury, and the mammoth Kansas forward's three-minute stretch in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament was about as underwhelming as his herky-jerky free-throw stroke.
He managed to go 22 minutes against Seton Hall on Saturday night.
Kansas faces Seton Hall for Sweet 16 spot in Omaha
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — No. 1 seed Kansas (28-7) vs. No. 8 Seton Hall (22-11)
Second round, Midwest Region; Wichita, Kansas, Saturday, 7:10 p.m. EDT.
BOTTOM LINE: The Jayhawks try to remain unbeaten in NCAA Tournament games in Wichita, improving to 5-0 with their opening-round win over Penn. They'll have to beat the Pirates, who finally broke through for an NCAA win when they topped North Carolina State on Thursday.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — No. 1 seed Kansas (27-7) vs. No. 16 seed Pennsylvania (24-8)
First round, Midwest Region; Wichita, Kansas; Thursday, 2 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: The Jayhawks won their 14th consecutive Big 12 title, then validated it by winning the league tournament to secure the top seed and a favorable geographic start. But the counterpoint to that is facing face Penn, which several metrics label one of the toughest 16-seeds ever.
Jayhawks, Wildcats banged up entering NCAA Tournament
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The success or failure of teams from the Sunflower State in the NCAA Tournament might be decided not by the players taking the floor but their trainers in the locker room.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas coach Bill Self is optimistic that big man Udoka Azubuike will be available when the top-seeded Jayhawks open the NCAA Tournament against No. 16 seed Penn on Thursday.
The 7-foot sophomore hurt a ligament in his left knee on Tuesday, sidelining him for the ninth-ranked Jayhawks' run to the Big 12 Tournament title. He returned to the floor for a light workout on Sunday and Self said he could practice with the rest of the team on Monday.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Devonte Graham ripped off the shooting sleeve he was wearing and tossed it into the crowd, then took the two-time Big 12 defensive player of the year baseline for a pullup jumper.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Devonte Graham ripped off the shooting sleeve he was wearing and tossed it into the crowd, then took the two-time Big 12 defensive player of the year baseline for a pullup jumper.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas had just been battered by Oklahoma State for the second time this season, a humiliating loss in Stillwater that sent the Jayhawks into the Big 12 Tournament rubbing their bruised egos.
Then the Cowboys raced out to a 10-point lead in their quarterfinal matchup.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas forward Udoka Azubuike sprained his left knee during a scrimmage this week, ruling him out of the Big 12 Tournament and putting his availability for the NCAA Tournament in question.
Jayhawks coach Bill Self said after a scrimmage at the Sprint Center that Azubuike sprained his medial collateral ligament near the end of Tuesday's practice. Azubuike was going for a rebound and a collision occurred under the basket, leaving the 7-footer with a "Grade 1" sprain.
Azubuike leads No. 13 Kansas past No. 20 West Virginia 77-69
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Bob Huggins didn't mince words in his postgame press conference after West Virginia lost to Kansas.
"They shot 29 free throws," Huggins said. "We shot two. You don't think that had anything to do with it?"
No. 13 Kansas holds off Iowa State 83-77
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Kansas responded to arguably its worst loss of the year with a much-needed win in a hostile environment — one that kept the Jayhawks within reach of Big 12-leading Texas Tech.
Performances like the one they put forth on Tuesday night are a big reason why the Jayhawks win the Big 12 every year.
Udoka Azubuike scored 19 points, Malik Newman had 17 and 13th-ranked Kansas bounced back from a brutal loss at Baylor by beating Iowa State 83-77.
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Kansas has white-knuckled its way to the top of the Big 12.
It took hopping out of conference play to finally breeze to a comfortable win.
Svi Mykhailiuk poured in 24 points, Malik Newman added 15, and the fifth-ranked Jayhawks built a big lead on Texas A&M in the first half before sustaining it most of the way in a 79-68 victory Saturday.
No. 5 Kansas builds big early lead, beats Texas A&M 79-68
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas has white-knuckled its way to the top of the Big 12.
It took hopping out of conference play to finally breeze to a comfortable win.
Svi Mykhailiuk poured in 24 points, Malik Newman added 15 and the fifth-ranked Jayhawks built a big lead on Texas A&M in the first half before sustaining it most of the way in a 79-68 victory Saturday.
Mykhailiuk, Graham lead No. 10 Kansas over No. 6 WVU 71-66
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Kansas' reserves were struggling to produce and time was running down, so Svi Mykhailiuk and Devonte Graham went to work.
Mykhailiuk and Graham hit big shot after big shot down the stretch to bring No. 10 Kansas back from 16 points down in the first half, and the Jayhawks held off No. 6 West Virginia 71-66 on Monday night.
No. 12 Kansas holds on to beat Kansas State 73-72
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas coach Bill Self insists he hasn't spent any additional time this season working on late-game situations, those pressure-packed moments that are often the difference between victory and defeat.
Graham leads No. 11 Kansas past Texas 92-86
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Kansas players saw Mohamed Bamba, Texas' long-armed shot blocker, stationed near the basket and figured there were easier ways to score than to challenge him.
So the 11th-ranked Jayhawks shot 3-pointers, converting 17 of 35, and defeated Texas 92-86 on Friday night in the Big 12 opener for both teams. They made 11 3-pointers in the second half.
"We definitely weren't getting any layups with him down there," Kansas guard Devonte' Graham said.
Udoka Azubuike gets 7 dunks, No. 14 Kansas tops Stanford
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Frank Mason III is mere months removed from his sensational Kansas career, and this time he sat courtside in his new arena as an NBA rookie ready to watch as a fan and offer some thoughts and encouragement to his old Jayhawks teammates who remain dear friends.
Mason provided a simple postgame message: Keep winning. Be aggressive on both ends of the floor.
"It's Frank," Devonte' Graham said, "we're in his building."
No. 3 KU with 7 in double figures in 102-59 rout of Oakland
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Udoka Azubuike was 10 of 16 from the field and his shooting percentage took a nosedive.
That happens when you spend most of your time dunking.
Oh, the Kansas big man still had plenty of dunks Friday night. But he also tried a few nifty hooks, drove to the basket a couple times and finished with a career-high 21 points and 10 rebounds, leading the third-ranked Jayhawks to a 102-59 rout of overmatched Oakland.
Hot shooting leads No. 3 Kansas past Texas Southern, 114-71
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas shot the ball from 3-point range better than it ever has in its illustrious history.
Once the Jayhawks found their rhythm from deep, their offense was virtually impossible to stop. Texas Southern coach Mike Davis was in awe.
"I've never seen a team pass the ball and shoot the basketball as well as they do," Davis said.