Tag Archives: Bill Self

A look back at the Top 10 Kansas City sports moments in 2017

As we start into the New Year, let’s look back at the Top 10 headlines and see what made 2017 great for Kansas City sports fans.

While 2017 was not as exciting as some previous years, like the Royals’ 2015 World Series championship, there was still so much that left fans of every team around the area happy at the end of the year.

Devonte’ Graham undeniably is Kansas Jayhawks’ leader

Devonte’ Graham is pushing hard and he can’t stop. Not now, not after three years of living his dream of playing for powerhouse Kansas basketball and working tirelessly to become one of the best players in the country to lead the Jayhawks to the Final Four.

After playing somewhat in the shadow of star players, like Perry Ellis early and National Player of the Year Frank Mason III last season, this is Graham’s time, to fully embrace being the go-to guy and true team leader — both on and off the court.

March Sadness-Kansas basketball falls short of Final Four…once again

Kansas Jayhawks march sadness

APRIL 2017 – Kansas and Oregon had been dreaming of this moment ever since their seasons ended last year in the Elite Eight. KU fell to eventual national champion Villanova, while the Ducks lost to Oklahoma.

But here they were again matched up in the Midwest Regional Final at Sprint Center in Kansas City, one win away from the Final Four. Both teams ached to get to Glendale, Arizona, and were seeking redemption for last season’s bitter Elite Eight defeats.

Frank Mason wants to take KU to Glendale

KU's Frank Mason

MARCH 2017 – Frank Mason was on hardly any major college program’s radar despite a standout career at Petersburg (Va.) High, where he scored 1,901 points and finished second in school history on the scoring charts behind Naismith Hall of Famer Moses Malone.

In fact, the 5-11 Kansas senior point guard committed to Towson University before attending Massanutten Military Academy in 2012-13. Four years later, the once overlooked Mason has emerged as arguably the best player in the country and one of the top players in KU history.

Bill Self is on Hall of Fame ballot

KU Coach Bill Self

FEBRUARY 2017 – This has been a milestone season for Kansas coach Bill Self as the Jayhawks enter February chasing their 13th straight Big 12 title.

In November, Self became the winningest coach in Allen Fieldhouse history, surpassing his good friend Ted Owens. On Dec. 6, he won his 600th career game against UMKC, joining 31 other coaches in the club and becoming just the ninth-fastest coach to reach that milestone.

On Dec. 21, Self received his highest individual honor to date when he was nominated for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Lagerald Vick rubs KU opponents with offense, defense and athleticism

Lagerald Vick was on nobody’s radar last season, where the slender 6-5 Kansas freshman guard was learning the major college basketball ropes and was a fixture on the bench.

He only played 91 minutes while averaging 2.1 points in 19 games.

A year later and it is a different story. Vick is one of the team’s most improved players. After studying the system last year and getting acclimated to KU coach Bill Self, Vick is feeling much more comfortable and confident this season.

“I’m being more aggressive, crashing the offensive boards, bringing the ball up the court, creating shots for others and just being a better defender,” Vick said.

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.”

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.