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Area prep football roundup, Oct. 17 -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Indian volleyball second at WAC -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

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Tiger women record third consecutive shutout -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

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Indians' Forinash goes 0-2 at 4A state -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

TMP falls in district opener to Beloit -10/17/2014, 11:46 AM

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FHSU men's soccer wins seventh straight -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Tigers look to climb back above .500 -10/17/2014, 10:38 AM

HHS fourth in WAC meet -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

TMP boys 2nd, girls 3rd at Lakeside -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

TMP volleyball goes 2-0 in first day at MCL -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Indians' Forinash in 4A state field -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Wichita State's Darius Carter shows off his jumper -10/17/2014, 10:27 AM

KVA prep volleyball rankings, Oct. 15 -10/16/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP drops close one to Liberal -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

TMP gets Beloit in district opener -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

K.C. headed to first World Series since 1985 -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

Selden ready to step into bigger role -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

Big district game for Hays High -10/16/2014, 10:31 AM

Area prep football district standings, Oct. 16 -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

Royals sweep O's, headed to World Series -10/15/2014, 7:17 PM

Tigers fall in three -10/15/2014, 11:39 AM

Chiefs' Johnson sheds weight in hopes of return -10/15/2014, 10:13 AM

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Chiefs' Charles with eyes on the prize -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

Parsons, Boxberger qualify in 3-2-1A golf -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

Royals getting it done old school -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

KSU prepares for OU -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

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Tuesday

Prep basketball

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Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
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Jayhawks poised for another Final Four run

Published on -10/31/2012, 2:06 PM

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LAWRENCE (AP) -- Everybody seemed to be happy on the Kansas bench last season.

Bill Self was certainly pleased with the way his team ran roughshod to an eighth straight Big 12 title. All his players were content, too, because they understood their roles, and that seven or eight of them were going to carry the load on a night-by-night basis.

There could be quite a bit more discontent this season, at least early on, and Self believes that's just as good as the positive vibes that enveloped the program last year.

The reason? There are about a dozen guys who could be vying for playing time.

"This year will be a little different," Self conceded just a few days into preseason practice. "We'll have some guys disappointed this year because they're pretty good."

Pretty young, too.

All-American Thomas Robinson left a year early for the NBA, and veteran guards Tyshawn Taylor and Connor Teahan have graduated. Stepping into their place will be nine freshmen, if you count walk-ons, several of whom will be counted on to continue Kansas' unparalleled success.

The No. 7 Jayhawks are coming off a loss to Kentucky in the national championship game.

There's five-star prospect Perry Ellis, one of the most highly sought recruits in Kansas high school history. Landen Lucas and Zach Peters are wide bodies inside, Rio Adams and Andrew Wright a couple of lanky guards who can score from the outside and get to the basket.

Then there are Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor.

Meet your new Taylor and Robinson.

The pair was recruited as part of last year's class, but McLemore and Traylor were deemed partial qualifiers by the NCAA and forced to redshirt. They only became eligible to practice the second semester, but they quickly showed everyone what the Jayhawks' had been missing.

McLemore is the quintessential combo guard, able to score everywhere on the court while also rebounding and playing defense -- in some ways like Taylor, now with the Brooklyn Nets. Traylor is slightly smaller than Robinson, now with the Sacramento Kings, but has the same broad shoulders and zest for rebounding that made his mentor the fifth overall pick in the draft.

"I had a year of practice and I pretty much learned a lot more than I would have just coming in and playing, so last year was a blessing in disguise for me," said Traylor, who's been mistaken for T-Rob while walking around on the leafy Kansas campus in Lawrence.

"It's definitely competitive, all the freshmen coming in. We have like nine freshmen, including me and Jamari," McLemore added. "Practice is a lot of competitiveness, but we're also getting getter as a team and getting ready for the season."

The focus early in the season will undoubtedly be on the newcomers, but any success will hinge on the three returning starters who helped the Jayhawks to the Final Four last season.

Seven-footer Jeff Withey emerged as one of the nation's top interior defenders, though he's still trying to refine his game on offense. He also won't have Robinson on the block to take some of the pressure off him, which means double- and triple-teams will be constant.

Elijah Johnson will spend most of his time moving from off-guard to the point, which he played in long stretches during the NCAA tournament. Johnson's outside shot is streaky, but his leadership is not, and he'll be counted on to be one of the team's cornerstones this season.

Travis Releford is the same tough-minded defender he's been the past three seasons.

"We have so much experience," Withey said, pausing. "We have the extremes, guys who played in the national championship and guys that are right out of high school."

The Jayhawks, the unanimous pick by the Big 12's coaches to win the league yet again, benefitted from a preseason trip to Europe to help blend the newcomers with the veterans. But they'll still have to put their preparation into fast forward with a tough early schedule.

They open the regular season against Southeast Missouri State on Nov. 9 before facing Michigan State four days later in the Champions Classic. They'll also play Washington State and either Texas A&M or Saint Louis in the CBE Classic in Kansas City, Mo., before November is over.

Oregon State, Colorado, Ohio State and Temple highlight the rest of the schedule before Kansas opens the double-round robin of the Big 12 slate against Iowa State on Jan. 9.

"Having Michigan State the second game of the season, it does amp it up a little bit," Self said, before adding: "I do think we have a chance to be good by the end."

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