Category Archives: COLLEGE TEAMS

Happy Festivus KC – Our Top Grievances for Sports in 2016

DECEMBER 2016Happy Festivus KC! Among all the celebrations each holiday season, this might be one of my favorites to recognize and celebrate. For those of you who don’t know what Festivus is, I’ve included a link here from the episode of “Seinfeld” that created this holiday.

One of this holiday’s traditions is the airing of grievances, in which you tell people all the ways they have disappointed you this year. While this year has had some great moments for Kansas City teams, there have been some disappointments.

To honor this tradition, here are the top five grievances about our local sports teams and players I would like to air on this day of Festivus (Just a note, I have nothing against these players/teams, they have just been disappointing this year). In the words of Frank Costanza, “I’ve got a lot of problems with you people! Now you’re going to hear about it!”

Josh Jackson has a chance to be a special KU freshman

DECEMBER 2016 Josh Jackson has heard the hosannas and rave reviews since he began tearing up the AAU, USA Basketball, and high school scene. Jackson, a 6-8 Kansas guard, was rated the No. 1 player in the 2016 class and named co-MVP of the McDonald’s All-American game while averaging 26.9 points, 13.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game at Prolific Prep in Napa, California, in 2015-16.

KU coach Bill Self was the latest to magnify the hype when he signed Josh Jackson last May after a long and intense recruiting battle in which the Detroit native chose the Jayhawks over Michigan State and Arizona, which immediately lifted Kansas into a sexy Final Four pick.

Elijah Lee is leading the Wildcats defense by example

NOVEMBER 2016 – When Elijah Lee arrived at Kansas State as a freshman two seasons ago, his goal was to just fit in. It’s amazing how leading the team in tackles can help a guy feel like he belongs.

“When I first got here I wasn’t sure of my abilities,” Lee said. “But after a hard summer and some big gains in the weight room, I gained more and more conference.

Jayhawks need a consistent Selden to succeed in March

Wayne Selden Jayhawks

MARCH 2016 – It has been two and done for Kansas basketball in the past two NCAA Tournaments. That’s right, the Jayhawks have had a quick exit and lost their second game (round of 32) in 2014 and 2015.

KU was not completely whole and healthy as it entered the Big Dance the past two seasons, one reason why the team went home so early.

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.