My guys have done such a great job at raising the level when it mattered in January and February.The third line of the 4-H pledge reads, "My hands to larger service." For 16-year-old 4-Her Kaleigh Byram and 12-year-old Mason Forkner, the words of the 4-H pledge are more than just the opening of a club meeting, they are words to live by.For the third winter now, Kaleigh and Mason have teamed up to collect winter hats, scarves and gloves for...
“Not just because of our returning talent but because we are all very motivated. I think we are trying to do everything in our power to get to the Final Four.”The Jayhawks have come up just short in back-to-back Elite Eight finishes the past two seasons. Adds Newman: “Being at a school like Kansas, if you don’t make it to the Final Four, it’s kind of a bad season.
That’s why we’re all focused on making that goal happen.”Graham echoes that state of mind.“Getting to the Final Four is definitely the goal, the dream,” Graham says.
Coach Bill Self won’t argue.“We never had anybody better than Frank,” Self says.
“But at the same time, Devonte’ also deferred a lot last year — in large part for what was best for our team.
Expected by some to be a one-and-done NBA player, Newman instead regrouped and matured over the last year in Lawrence.“It’s been a lot of patience,” says Newman, a top-10 recruit in the Class of 2015. Now, I get to respond — with a lot of built-up aggression.”The backcourt chemistry with Graham (13.4 ppg, 4.1 apg last season) and Newman (11.3 ppg in 2015-16) should be on point.
Despite Newman sitting out last season, the two were roommates and Graham was Newman’s tour guide during his visit to campus — a determining factor in his decision to transfer.
But ultimately, the program’s Hall of Fame coach wants the team to cut down the nets in April more than anything.“I’d much rather go to 13 straight Final Fours than win 13 straight leagues,” Self says.
“But I think your goal, when you’re competitive, is to be the best on a night-to-night basis.
But from an intangible standpoint, we’re not even close,” Self says.“With coach Self,” Graham says, “I feel like our identity always tends to be the same: Tougher than whoever you’re playing.”Self says newcomers Billy Preston and Marcus Garrett, two top-rated freshmen, will have to learn on the fly as the team mixes in experience and youth.
Self returns key 6-8 guard Svi Mykhailiuk, a versatile offensive talent who tested the NBA waters at the combine and is poised for a breakout senior year after playing on the Ukrainian national team this summer.“This year, I think we can be special,” says Mykhailiuk, who lost 20 pounds this offseason to be in prime shape for 2017-18.
UConn commit Lukas Kisunas and targets Sherif Kenney, Akok Akok and others will be on display at the 2017 National Prep Showcase Nov. Kisunas, a physical Class of 2018 forward who pledged to the Huskies a few weeks ago, and Kenney, a 2019, 6-4 point guard "with a little Khalid El-Amin in him," per his Brewster Academy coach, will play on Nov.