Category Archives: COLLEGE TEAMS

Traylor goes from homeless in Chicago to earning KU degree

Jamari Traylor KU

FEBRUARY 2016 – Jamari Traylor is about survival, perseverance, hope and triumph of the human spirit.

Traylor, a 6-8 Kansas senior forward, grew up in the South Side of Chicago, where his father, Jesse, was ultimately taken from his home and imprisoned for life on federal drug trafficking charges. Traylor, who was very close to his dad, became an angry and defiant teenager, finding time in juvenile detention centers and even enduring the harsh realities of life in the bitter Windy City cold, homeless and living in cars and stealing food.

In his darkest moment painfully trying to sleep one night, Traylor wondered if he’d ever survive.

Barry Odom replaces Pinkel as Missouri football coach

Barry Odom MU

JANUARY 2016 – Barry Odom might not have been the first choice to replace Gary Pinkel as the Missouri football coach, but he appears to be a popular choice

Pinkel, who spent 15 years at Missouri, is the winningest football coach in the university’s history, but he resigned in November after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in May.

Pinkel went 23-5 and won back-to-back Southeastern Conference East Division titles in 2013-14.

Devonte Graham overlooked out HS, develops into KU starter

Devonte Graham KU

JANUARY 2016 – Devonte Graham can still close his eyes and remember those wonder years growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina, and dreaming of competing at a big-time college and playing in Final Fours and national championship games.

And sure, Graham can also recall those holiday tournaments watching teams playing in Hawaii. He hoped one day that could be him in paradise.

In November before the 6-2 KU sophomore boarded a plane with his teammates and coaches to Hawaii for the prestigious Maui Invitational, Graham talked about living his childhood hoop dreams.

Perry Ellis joining elite names in KU basketball lore

Perry Ellis KU

DECEMBER 2015 – Perry Ellis feels like it was about yesterday when he arrived at Kansas in 2012 after winning four-straight state championships at Wichita Heights and becoming a four-time Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year and City League’s all-time leading scorer.

“It went by so fast, so fast,” said Ellis, a 6-8 KU senior forward. “I’m excited about it. I’ve been getting better each season and having more fun.”

David Beaty working energetically to turn around KU football

David-Beaty-KU

NOVEMBER 2015 – David Beaty didn’t hesitate when offered the Kansas football head coaching job last December by athletic director Sheahon Zenger.

Beaty, who served as an assistant at Texas A&M (2012-14) and previously two terms as a KU assistant coach (2008-09; 2011), knew how special it was at Mount Oread.

“We have an excellent genuine love for this program,” Beaty said. “We are humbled to be here, and I’ll tell you this: It took us no time because we absolutely love this place. The community is great. My wife and kids absolutely love it here. We have friends, we have a lot of different relationships already developed.

Drew Lock-ed in at quarterback for MU

Drew-Lock_MU

NOVEMBER 2015 – Drew Lock was thrust into the limelight as the Missouri starting quarterback ahead of schedule as a true freshman after junior Maty Mauk was suspended for violating team rules.

Mauk was reinstated in late October, but six days later coach Gary Pinkel suspended Mauk for the remainder of the season, leaving Lock firmly entrenched as the starting quarterback.

Mauk’s suspension has allowed Lock to garner valuable playing time in the Southeastern Conference, while most players are redshirted as a freshman.

K-State’s Travis Britz is no longer overlooked

KSU-travis-britz

SEPTEMBER 2015 – Travis Britz grew up in the Kansas City area. He has certainly watched Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon throw out runners trying to stretch an extra base. For years, opponents would challenge Gordon’s arm, and Gordon would keep proving that it wasn’t a good challenge.

Gordon led the American League with 20 outfield assists in 2011, his first year in left field, when he won the first of four straight Gold Gloves. He had back-to-back seasons of 17 assists. Finally, teams stopped trying to gain that extra base. Gordon finished with just eight outfield assists last year, when he won the Platinum Glove for the best defender at any position in the American League.

Why is that relevant in college football? Because Britz is Kansas State’s version of Gordon.

A healthy Tre Parmalee would bolster KU Jayhawks receiving unit

KU-Tre-Parmalee

SEPTEMBER 2015 – Kansas wide receiver Tre Parmalee can still close his eyes and remember those dreamy days as a kid in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the living room with his dad, Bernie, and sharing their love for football.

“My dad was sitting on the couch throwing me the ball, tossing the ball,” Parmalee said. “I would catch it and throw it back to him.”

It was their sanctuary, their own little world.

“We would enjoy father, son time,” the younger Parmalee said.

KU, K-State and MU college football teams have many questions entering season

KU-MU-KSU

AUGUST 2015 – With the college football season kicking off in September, a quick glance at the area teams brings up a lot of questions. Unfortunately for David Beaty, Bill Snyder and Gary Pinkel, there aren’t nearly as many answers.

KU’s Brannen Greene good as gold when he shoots

KU-Greene

MARCH 2015 – He’s a 6-7, 215-pound rangy sophomore guard at Kansas. He wears No. 14. And he’s from Juliette, Georgia.

His name is Brannen Greene, and he’s one of the best shooters in the country who will need to come up huge in KU’s quest to make a deep run in March and make the Final Four.