Apr 3, 2012, 9:30 AM EDT
NEW ORLEANS – This was supposed to be the rebuilding year for the Jayhawks.
With so much talent leaving the program and 75% of Bill Self’s recruiting class getting ruled ineligible before the season started, Kansas was forced to play this season with a lineup that was very un-Kansas-like. Two former walk-ons — Conner Teahan and Justin Wesley — played significant minutes. Other than Tyshawn Taylor, everyone else on the roster this year was forced into bigger, much more important roles.
No one thought Kansas would be able to have a season like they did. The Jayhawks climbed all the way into the top five nation. They won the Big 12 regular season title by two games — the fourth straight season they’ve climbed the outright league title and the eighth straight year they’ve had at least a share of first place. They made an improbable run all the way national title game.
The disappointment in the Kansas locker was palpable. But once that passes, you can only hope the Jayhawks realized that what they accomplished this season was special.
“I think that’s what I’m going to remember the most,” Tyshawn Taylor said, “just how far we went with so many people not believing in us. This team here, we came a long way since the beginning of the summer. Probably no one thought we would be here, but we’re here.”
“That’s a good feeling, but it will probably feel better in a few days than it does now.”
“I loved being a part of my team,” Thomas Robinson said. “I wouldn’t take anything back. I feel proud, but to get here and then not get what you came here for, it’s going to hurt no matter what.”
No one at this level ever likes or wants to lose. While the rest of the country may not have completely bought in, the Jayhawks certainly believed that they were good enough to win the national title on Monday night. This loss is going to hurt, particularly for the players that will never don a Kansas jersey again.
But once that pain subsides, Kansas will be able to look back fondly on the memories they made with this run.
Aug 21, 2014, 11:06 PM EDT
More than two months after his older brother left the football program, Mickey Mitchell has decided to decommit from Ohio State.
Aug 21, 2014, 10:14 PM EDT
6-foot-7 forward Kevin Puryear was a point forward for his high school team last season.
Aug 21, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT
The Toronto Blue Jays aren’t thrilled with Creighton filing an application to trademark its logo, which was unveiled last September.
Aug 21, 2014, 7:21 PM EDT
Rick Barnes entered last season on nearly every pundit’s “hot seat” rankings, only to turn things around and win 24 games.
Aug 21, 2014, 5:55 PM EDT
Mo’ne Davis is currently focused on winning a LLWS title, but down the line she really wants to run the point at UConn.
Aug 21, 2014, 4:37 PM EDT
Aaron McKie ranks sixth on Temple’s all-time scoring list, and he played 13 seasons in the NBA.
Aug 21, 2014, 3:57 PM EDT
UConn’s league schedule is only getting weaker. They need to beef up in the non-conference.
Aug 21, 2014, 3:19 PM EDT
A quick explanation of why John Calipari can be a great coach without being a great x’s-and-o’s coach.
Aug 21, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT
Do you agree with that ranking?
Aug 21, 2014, 12:46 PM EDT
But would hiring Cremins be a way to get Anthony Johnson the job?
Aug 21, 2014, 10:55 AM EDT
It is absolutely hilarious.
Aug 21, 2014, 10:34 AM EDT
Five points down, 2.8 seconds left, and victorious?
Aug 21, 2014, 9:34 AM EDT
Rozier will be the most important player for Louisville this season.
Aug 20, 2014, 10:46 PM EDT
Redshirting helped Eli Carter as he looks to recover from a broken leg suffered in 2013, but he still isn’t at the level he was prior to the injury.
Aug 20, 2014, 9:59 PM EDT
According to reports Dominic Woodson will be enrolling at Tennessee in time for the start of classes Thursday.
Aug 20, 2014, 9:16 PM EDT
Four-star shooting guard Terance Mann picked Florida State over Arizona State, Boston College, Indiana, Marquette and Rhode Island.
Aug 20, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT
Curtis Malone is serving a 100-month sentence after pleading guilty to being a part of a drug ring that brought in $80,000 in profits per month.
Aug 20, 2014, 6:42 PM EDT
A report stated that a blood clot in Chai Baker’s leg may have resulted in his collapsing during a workout on Tuesday.
Aug 20, 2014, 5:38 PM EDT
Deville Smith averaged 9.7 points and 2.7 assists in 32 games last season, making 18 starts.
Aug 20, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT
Kennard is the No. 19 recruit in the Rivals top 150.
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